Spokane Startup’s Target of Non-Deterministic Polynomial Problem Efficiency in Chemistry

One lady, based in Washington state, sees it as her mission to solve the ‘toughest problems in quantum science’

Photo by Karla Hernandez on Unsplash

Sudoku Maven

There’s always cause for celebration when a female CEO springs up in the QC arena. Keeper L. Sharkey is the founder and CEO of ODE, L3C, a Washington state-based social enterprise whose goal is to work in quantum information science, technology and research.

And when your slogan is ‘We like Quantum’, TQD’s investigative tentacles were naturally aroused. Because we like it too.

With a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in chemical physics, Sharkey is a woman of many angles. As well as being a confessed ‘Sudoku maven’, she is a futurist and author.

On the downside, however, she’s a messy eater.

Join the club, Keeper.

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Her LinkedIn profile states she has a passion for ‘the quantum realm’. With technical/scientific skills that encompass matrix mechanics, tensor algebra, and ordinary differential equations while possessing ‘a special understanding of chemical properties —  including thermodynamics, free energy, and entropy’ —  Sharkey is a multidisciplinary master.

Her baby, ODE, L3C, was founded in 2018. The ‘L3C’ in the title, which is a low-profit limited liability company designed, according to Wikipedia, ‘to bridge the gap between non-profit and for-profit investing by providing a structure that facilitates investments in socially beneficial, for-profit ventures by simplifying compliance with Internal Revenue Service rules for program-related investments, a type of investment that private foundations are allowed to make’.

ODE’s main goal at present is the

entanglement of electronic states in strongly correlated atomic and molecular systems, including simultaneous coupling of states of electrons and nuclei

Sharkey leads an advisory board made up of technical specialists in hardware, computing, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and algorithms. More down to earth but no less important — especially for the smooth running of a successful startup in the space — is the team dedicated to legal issues and business development.

‘Society has a lot to gain from the computational capacity of tomorrow’s quantum computer. Quantum computing will allow us to extract new knowledge from very large data sets provided that the mathematical equations used for predictive measures are accurately represented in the calculations and processed correctly by the quantum device. Ideally, this new knowledge will aid in fostering a wise and holistic community and has the real potential to change the world as we know it.’

— Keeper L. Sharkey

With them in place, Sharkey’s job to lead from the front in the hard science of QC will surely become much easier.


To add more validation to the cause, ODE, L3C is also a member of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C).

With a slick website and a subsection which includes an interview with Doctor Sharkey and her great review of Bob Sutor’s QC book Dancing with Qubits, all the bases are covered.

TQD awaits this maven’s next step.

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.

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