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The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange recently announced the launch of Duality, the first accelerator program in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to startup companies focused on quantum science and technology—a rapidly emerging area that is poised to drive transformative advances across multiple industries.

Duality’s purpose is to help quantum startups bridge the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace that is a critical barrier to success for emerging technologies. Led by the Polsky Center and the Chicago Quantum Exchange, Duality is also reinforced by founding partners, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and P33.

The launch of the quantum accelerator comes at a time when countries around the world are racing to unlock the potential of quantum technology. Quantum science and technology has the potential to transform industries in the same way that the internet has reshaped the world in recent decades, and leaders hope that the Chicago area is positioned to benefit as the center of the quantum world in the same way that Silicon Valley transformed as it became the center of the tech revolution.

Duality will help up to 10 quantum startups per year grow their businesses in the Chicago area. The program will be based within the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a global leader in management education. Chicago Booth is widely known for its thought leadership—with nine Nobel laureates—and its impact on the global business community.

“The Polsky Center was launched at Chicago Booth and has a proven track record of launching new startup companies and bringing groundbreaking ideas to market,” said Jay Schrankler, associate vice president and head of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and adjunct professor at Chicago Booth. “Deep tech innovations, such as quantum technologies, can take a longer time to reach market-ready maturity than typical business model innovations. Duality will provide the necessary infrastructure, guidance and world-class business training to ensure these new quantum startups are successful.”

Duality is taking applications through its website for the first cohort. Companies are invited to apply and will be considered on a rolling basis until May 14, 2021. Actively promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, the program is seeking a range of diverse applicants, in terms of race, gender and ethnicity.


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