The US Air Force Enlists QC Startup, Semicyber, to Develop Data Analytics and Software Services for Mission-critical Challenges


The US Air Force Enlists QC Startup, Semicyber, to Develop Data Analytics and Software Services for Mission-critical Challenges

Photo by Markus Bürkle on Unsplash

Python And All That 

For most startups in the quantum computing (QC) space which hope to create a name for themselves, the only way they can break into the market is by producing algorithms/software for the nascent industry built on the hard work of a handful of full-stack QC companies like Rigetti Computing, D-Wave Systems and the large corporate monoliths like Google, Microsoft, et al.

The main reason being is its unimaginably cheaper. Minimal capital is required to create algorithms. All you need is a classical computer which is internet worked in some way. There are Python packages out there. The ATOS quantum simulator. Even IBM’s Quantum Experience. The choices are expanding at an exponential rate to integrate a superb idea with the applications needed to build the software to run successfully on the QC hardware, which may, ultimately, solve some of humanity’s biggest problems.

With enough background in coding languages, quantum physics, a will to learn and determination, it doesn’t take that much — in either financial resources or time — to start on your QC journey.

And even establish your own startup in the process!

The number of software companies — or should I say startups — that offer ‘potential’ quantum software applications in the QC industry is steadily growing.

Last count, there were at least three dozen (from a quick scan of our database) software-focused startups on the scene.

And one to add to the list is Semicyber, a McLean, Virginia startup which intends to:

Connect the dots between data and innovative solutions


Yet though the claim seems banal, or at the very least vacuous in its intentions, the kernel of the idea is based on common sense:

  • Data.
  • Innovative solutions.

Maybe these two things are enough.

Maybe these should be deemed the most important bywords/phrases for the industrialization of technology.

A successful business is based on solving real-life problems that the vast majority of the 7.7 billion souls on the planet think are exactly that. It doesn’t matter that they’re about as sexy as Jack Black or the hobby of trainspotting, the customer base is there.


US Air Force Contract

Still in stealth mode by all accounts (regarding the publicity and exposure of the startup), Semicyber’s team of CEO and founder Kayla Farrow and her sidekick, the aptly named Andy H, must be doing something right in the space as they have recently been awarded a contract of almost $100,000 from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and AFWERX. The grant is for the startup to develop quantum computing algorithms that will deliver ‘data analytics, quantum algorithms, and software services for mission-critical challenges’.

Responding to news about the contract, which was announced on St Valentine’s Day, Farrow said:

‘Semicyber is proud to be at the forefront of the new quantum computing era. We develop and optimize quantum algorithms and our core goal is to innovate and discover new ways to apply quantum to leading-edge technologies. With the collaboration between Semicyber, our research institution partners and the AFWERX team, we are positioning quantum computing as the leading technology to advance breakthroughs in engineering, science and technology.’

The United States Air Force is no easy taskmaster. The Pentagon’s due diligence team on the two entrepreneurs and their intentions would have been quick and efficient, so we can assume — unless current United States Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett has some underlying agenda — things are hunky-dory.

And in Kayla Farrow, the startup has a good leader at the helm. Currently doing a Ph.D. in electrical and electronic engineering at Virginia Tech, she also possesses bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the same disciplines from Richmond’s Old Dominion University.

Data, Quantum, and Software Solutions

— Semicyber

According to the Semicyber website, ‘the contract with AFRL is a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) effort that enables Semicyber to continue to develop leading and ground-breaking quantum computing technology. This is the second year that Semicyber has received STTR funding from the United States Department of Defense (DOD).’

The startup’s services include the following:

 — Data Science and Analytics

— Quantum Algorithm Development

— Software Engineering and Development

But maybe more impressive is, again according to the startup’s website:

Semicyber, LLC is a McLean, Virginia-based Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) and Small, Women-Owned and Minority-Owned (SWaM) certified company.

It’s good to hear this Virginia startup, led by a woman, is representing women in Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. For more top women of quantum computing check out our previous article.

James Dargan

James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

Share This Article

Explore our intelligence solutions

Join Our Newsletter