Fair Share of Startups
I don’t have to tell those with a keen interest in quantum computing (QC) how big a part Canada is playing in its growth. And though Toronto — and the province of Ontario — seems to be the leader here, other provinces of the country are busy, too: noticeably British Columbia and Quebec. The French-speaking eastern province of Quebec, home to the metropolitans of Montreal and Quebec City, also has its fair share of startups and initiatives in the QC sector that can compete with the best startups in the US, Europe and the Far East.
Anyon Systems Inc, founded in Dorval, Montreal, and Nord Quantique, a Sherbrooke-based startup, are leading the province in quantum tech with the help of another company that has “developed a quantum analog computing system by means of conventional electronics using a fresh approach to quantum mechanics and electronics to exploit quantum effects at room temperature.”
infinityQ’s novel room temperature CMOS-compatible quantum optimization chip architecture, the first of its kind in the world, will be a certain boon in creating “the computer of tomorrow and source simple solutions to impossible problems”, doing away with the extortionately expensive cryogenic setup needed for trapped ion and superconducting quantum computers, the most popular at the moment.
Established in Montreal in 2020, infinityQ was founded by Aurélie Hélouis and Jean Michel Sellier. The pair’s quantum analog hardware, which they designed to improve upon existing quantum systems by being more “compact, efficient and robust”, will enable local integration for security and speed that could revolutionize AI, financial services, materials science, drug design, logistics, as well as cybersecurity.
“Quantum mechanics is fascinating and mysterious. Quantum effects are somewhat magical, and being able to harness them allows us to compute a million times faster than classical computers. With this exciting new technology, we hope to help in the search for solutions to global problems. It is not possible to predict everything that quantum computers will be able to do, but we are part of this technological revolution. From climate change modeling, to enhanced security and the development of new medicines, our technology will be able to solve impossible problems to make a better world.”
— Aurélie Hélouis, Female Founders First interview
It’s always a good thing to make the world better, the act compounded a hundred-fold in the eyes of TQD if quantum is part of it, and infinityQ’s CEO Aurélie Hélouis intention is a noble one.
With over fifteen years in the French navy as an aviation engineer officer, chief technical officer of a jet aircraft squadron and chief information officer of a naval air station (retiring as a lieutenant commander) before drastically changing her career trajectory by getting an MBA from McGill University and into the crazy world of entrepreneurship, Hélouis’ new role as leader of one of Canada’s top quantum startups has taught her it’s important to have many heads, from company accountant, HR lead to business development officer — all in a day’s work for this Canadian-based French startup CEO.
Hélouis’ fellow cofounder and is Jean-Michel Sellier, a professor in quantum mechanics at Mila, Quebec AI Institute. A former associate professor at Purdue University, where he conducted research on the simulation of electron transport in quantum systems in the context of nanoelectronics, Sellier is currently an associate professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and a data scientist at multinational Ericsson. He has a Ph.D. in theoretical and mathematical physics from the Università di Catania.
With a quantum philosophy designed to overcome challenges, find solutions to impossible problems, aligned to concerns with diversity and innovation, infinityQ could be on to something that surprises us all.