Duality is a startup accelerator designed to bridge the gap from laboratory to the marketplace. They will offer 12 month programs to selected teams within each yearly cohort that provides entrepreneurial training, business expertise and mentorship, technical expertise, access to state-of-the-art facilities, industry exposure and $50,000 in unrestricted funding. It is the first such accelerator devoted on quantum in the United States, although a similar program called the Creative Destruction Lab, Quantum Stream, has been running for several years out of the University of Toronto and has spawned several well-known quantum startups. The accelerator will be led by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange. Also participating will be founding partners including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and Chicago innovation promotion organization P33.

Duality has secured a minimum of $20 million in funding over the next 10 years from both corporate and academic partners and has a goal of graduating up to 10 new quantum startups in the Chicago area per year. The region has a rich talent pool available with four universities and two national laboratories with strong quantum technology programs as members of the Chicago Quantum Exchange and located nearby.

To participate in the Duality program, a startup company needs to have the following characteristics to be eligible:

  • Companies that are building quantum technologies, products and applications, and related enabling technologies
  • Companies prepared to focus full-time on business, partnership, and technological development over the next 12 months
  • Ability to relocate to Chicago during the program duration (the program will start virtually due to COVID-19)
  • There must be a U.S. legal entity at the time of entry to the program
  • Companies must not have raised more than $1 million in private funding at the time of entry to the program

For more about Duality, you can view the news release announcing its launch on the University of Chicago’s web site here, you can visit Duality’s new web site here, and learn how to apply to be a part of Cohort 1 here.

April 7, 2021