Deepest of Deep Tech Sectors
Toronto (and more specifically the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor) is one of the most promising and exciting startup centres globally. As a nexus of culture and the arts, it is also complemented by a plethora of VC investors and its fair share of incubator and accelerator programs in the deep tech space, too.
With over 5,000 startups and treble that number in fully-fledged tech companies reported in the area, world-class public universities and colleges, it’s no wonder the Toronto metropolitan area is ranked in the top two or three for technology in North America, only outdone by some insignificant place called Silicon Valley, in California. Anyone heard of it?
A few reasons for this has to be the massive influx of public investment and VC activity, as well as the desired location as a place of residence — no wonder the city is positioned as it is.
In quantum computing (QC), as well — that deepest of deep tech sectors — the startup scene has spiralled up and up in the last few years, with north of a dozen startups utilizing the power of quantum mechanics to make their mark on the nascent industry.
With that said, here are 12 startups helping build Quantum Technology around Toronto:
An enterprise security company for the quantum cloud and founded by Oktay Gotkas, Elliot MacGowan and Edwin Tham in 2018, Agnostiq is working on software solutions that allow users to experiment with quantum processors over the cloud with the added benefit of not compromising the privacy of their data, algorithms or IP.
Impressively, it is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, which only adds prestige to the startup’s resume.
Founders Henning Dekant, Simon Bermudez, Robert Tucci, and Tao Yin set up Artiste-qb.net to allow customers to create and curate an Open Source analytics platform that empowers data scientists to augment Python into a full-blown Quantum Computing toolbox. Recognizing the R&D challenges companies face daily, the startup’s products include Quantum Fog, Quantum Edward, Qubiter, and Bayesforge, all available to access via GitHub.
Like Agnostiq, AuroraQ is a graduate of the Creative Destruction Labs program while can also boast of being an alumnus of the Y Combinator program, too. Formerly called QSpice Labs, AuroraQ was founded in 2017 by Raina Olsen and Mohammadreza Rezaee. (The late great Peter Wittek was also a scientific adviser before his unfortunate death.) Originally founded in Toronto, they are now based out of Waterloo, Ontario.
AuroraQ manufactures scalable, standardized and modular quantum components optimized by machine learning to integrate effortlessly with the quantum process built to operate with a broad range of quantum processor technologies.
Obviously named in honour of Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, Boxcat boasts to be the first company in the world to render an image using a quantum computer. Innovating and transforming rendering strategies for image and video-reliant industries by adapting critical components within digital imaging engines to quantum computing calculations, Boxcat’s customer base seems to be the media and medical imaging industries.
Boxcat was founded by Ystallonne Alves and Robert Stanica in 2017.
A founding member of Quantum Industry Canada that was established by Visweswaran Vish R in 2016, CogniFrame improves customers’ outcomes through the use of ML and Quantum Optimization or Simulation under a Hybrid Model. Using What the startup calls “Financial Services Operating Layer” that sits on top of Quantum Cloud, CogniFrame is in the business of solving NP-Hard, intractable and computationally intensive optimization and simulation problems to serve the global financial industry.
6. Menten AI
A biotech startup building a software platform for protein design utilizing next-generation technology like QC and ML, Menten AI was founded in 2018 by Hans Melo, Tamas Gorbe and Vikram Mulligan.
Achieving the first fully scalable algorithm for peptide and protein design on a quantum computer, they also created the first peptide designed on a quantum computer in the world, too.
Founded by Joseph Geraci in 2015, NetraMark combines proprietary QML/ML algorithms with multi-domain expertise to bring ML commercialization to reality. Using the pharmaceutical industry in drug development, resurrection, and disease definition as a starting point, the startup is also working with a number of pharmaceutical companies to apply their technology at present.
Like several startups on the list, NetraMark is an alumnus of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum Machine Learning program.
Similar to Menten AI, ProteinQure is a biotech firm using its transformative approach in QC to perform drug design in silico by unlocking the potential of protein-based therapeutics.
Another graduate of the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto, ProteinQure was founded in 2017 by Lucas Siow, Tomas Babej, Chris Ing, and Mark Fingerhuth.
In these dangerous times of cybersecurity infractions, startups like QEYnet’s global quantum key distribution (QKD) network solutions are a welcomed sight. Determined to offer a new era of ultra-secure communication, QEYnet’s five-person founding team of Cordell Grant, Thomas Jennewein, Jennifer Elliott, Brendon Higgins, and Jean-Philippe Bourgoin — all a mixture of aerospace engineers and quantum communication experts — intend to position QEYnet on the market to offer reliable satellite-based QKD at a low cost.
Founded in 2018 by Deep Prasad, ReactiveQ is researching NISQ algorithms to better understand material design and bring the engineering design process to the next level in the aerospace, automotive and renewable energy sectors.
11.Solid State AI
Yet another alumnus of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum Machine Learning program, Solid State AI was founded by Abhi Rampal in 2017 and is building a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to “enable process and equipment engineers in complex manufacturing industries to increase manufacturing yields, optimize process parameters, and reduce equipment maintenance costs and downtime.”
Arguably the most high-profile startup on the list, Xanadu is a full-stack quantum company founded in 2016 by Christian Weedbrook. A world-leader in photonic quantum hardware, Xanadu is building a quantum photonic processor and an open-source full-stack quantum software platform called Strawberry Fields for photonic quantum computing.
Have we missed any out or got something wrong? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].
The Quantum Insider (TQI)
Just in case this list hasn’t satisfied your cravings for data in the QC industry, you can pop on over to The Quantum Insider (TQI), TQD’s very own data platform, where you can find deep and insightful data on all aspects of the QIS industry.
TQI is an invaluable resource for journalists, researchers, investors, companies, and government agencies looking to extend their knowledge of the growing quantum tech ecosystem!