Quantum Catalyzer (Q-Cat) launches in Maryland to bring promising quantum technologies to the real world

News25 May 2022

Q-Cat offers resources and expertise to lower the barriers to entry for commercialization of innovative quantum technology 

COLLEGE PARK, MD – May 24, 2022 – A new company in the heart of Maryland’s research corridor, Quantum Catalyzer (Q-Cat), is on a mission — to create and grow successful quantum technology start-ups.

“Today, there is no easy path to transition quantum technologies from academic labs into the real world. Q-Cat will change that by lowering the barriers to company formation and progress — catalyzing a new generation of high-impact quantum companies,” says founder Dr. Ronald Walsworth, a serial entrepreneur in quantum technology. “Our model is unique. We create early-stage quantum companies and help them grow through expert guidance and key resources.”

Walsworth, a former Harvard University faculty member recruited by the University of Maryland to lead its Quantum Technology Center, is a professor in UMD’s Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments.

With headquarters in College Park, Q-Cat joins IonQ and other companies fueling the area’s reputation as a world leader in quantum commercialization.  Q-Cat investors include venture capital firms Quantonation, based in Paris and Boston, Ma, and TDF Ventures, based in Chevy Chase, Md.

Q-Cat and its companies leverage quantum technologies, exploiting the special properties of quantum physics for transformational capabilities across many sectors.  Examples include enabling efficient green energy generation at scale, more reliable navigation, next-generation microelectronics, and lower cost healthcare imaging.

Q-Cat differs from traditional tech accelerators and incubators in that it creates new start-ups from scratch and then helps them grow fast and smart. Key Q-Cat resources include:

  • Company conceptualization and formation
  • Early-stage proof-of-principle tech development using Q-Cat’s top technical talent
  • IP guidance, generation, and promotion
  • Business & strategic partnership development
  • Low-cost office and lab space
  • Scientific equipment
  • Identification of technical and business talent for growth
  • Connections through Q-Cat’s well-established network

Over time, Q-Cat companies become independent entities, with Q-Cat retaining partial ownership. 

“The time has never been better for a concept like Q-Cat,” says Dr. Christophe Jurczak, founder and partner at Quantonation, the pioneer VC fund dedicated to quantum technologies. “We need more companies created in this sector and more quantum entrepreneurs.”  

Investments in quantum start-ups doubled from 2020 to 2021, exceeding $1.7 billion last year alone, according to research by McKinsey.

Q-Cat’s scientific advisory board (SAB) includes top quantum leaders from academia and industry, with IonQ Chief Scientist and Co-founder Chris Monroe serving as Q-Cat SAB chair.

“It’s exciting to see Q-Cat fill a critical gap in bringing innovative quantum advances to market while enhancing College Park’s reputation as the Capital of Quantum,” says Monroe, whose own company emerged from his UMD lab. In 2021, IonQ, became the first pure-play quantum computing company to go public.

Q-Cat has created four quantum companies to date, with several more in the planning stage:

  • EuQlid — Quantum Imaging for Next Generation Microelectronics
  • QDM.IO — Quantum Instrumentation for Research and Education
  • XerXes Technologies — Quantum Sensors for Extreme Environments
  • Q4ML — Quantum Data for Machine Learning

“We are excited to bring the best ideas in quantum science to the market as useful technologies. The sky’s the limit,” concludes Walsworth.

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