51 CTOs Transforming The World of Quantum Tech

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51 CTOs Transforming The World of Quantum Tech
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Important Role

A chief technology officer (CTO) is one of the most important roles in any tech company. Sometimes the head of engineering, at other times not, the CTO has to be an excellent engineer while also possessing the required skills to communicate complicated technical issues to people from non-technical backgrounds, C-suite executives, for instance.

They must be experts in company policy and procedures and have enough intuition to know which direction the company needs to head.

For a quantum technology company — one of the hardest of deep tech niches — this is more important than ever. Skills in communication, leadership, finance and business development must meld with the technical side of things to create the required dynamism necessary for a successful company.

Realizing it’s usually the CEOs and presidents who get to bask in all the limelight, TQD thought it time to mention those CTOs in the deep and dirty trenches, the people who — in essence — make the startups and companies tick on a day to day basis.

One thing to note, however, is that as usual, this list is non-exhaustive. I have only mentioned those enterprises that actually have the title of CTO as a position in their corporate structure.

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Semantics & Diversity Issues

Companies like Google, IBM and other big players, as well as dozens and dozens of QC startups, do — for whatever reason — use different titles such as chief scientific officer (CSO) or chief innovation officer (CIO) etc when applied to positions when the role is similar to that of a CTO in their respective organizations, but semantics aside, the list has been collated to highlight those important people in their CTO roles rather than to cause injury to those not included.

One major disappointment in compiling this list has been the lack of diversity — as expected, white men abound. Women, well, that’s an embarrassing shame, with Elena Blokhina and Prineha Narang being the only representatives on the list.

*All data is relevant as of July 2021

1. Arman Zaribafiyan: CTO at 1QBit

Arman Zaribafiyan: CTO at 1QBit


Head of Quantum Computing at 1QBit, Arman Zaribafiyan completed his MSc in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on quantum information processing at the University of British Columbia. Passionate about emerging computing technologies, he is interested in connecting these to computationally challenging and intractable industry problems.

With a solid track record in managing forward-deployed research and engineering projects, Zaribafiyan’s education and influence are sure to have positive repercussions for 1QBit’s hardware-agnostic platforms and services and take the company where it needs to be.

2. Scott Dufferwiel: CTO at AEGIQ

Scott Dufferwiel: CTO at AEGIQ


Scott Dufferwiel is an entrepreneur at heart with a keen interest in emerging technologies with disruptive potential. As well as being AEGIQ’s CTO, Dufferwiel is also a co-founder of the Sheffield-based QC startup.

With a Ph.D. in quantum polaritonics from the University of Sheffield, Dufferwiel’s technical acumen can transform outcomes for his startup’s quantum photonics platform.

3. Matteo Rossi: CTO at Algorithmiq

Matteo Rossi: CTO at Algorithmiq


A postdoctoral researcher at the Quantum Technologies Group of the Turku Centre for Quantum Physics, University of Turku, Algorithmiq CTO and co-founder Matteo Rossi’s research in quantum information and quantum computing is helping his startup develop its novel IP in advanced algorithms to solve complex problems in life sciences through quantum information, complex systems and computational physics.

4. Prineha Narang: CTO at Aliro

Prineha Narang: CTO at Aliro


As well as being Boston-based quantum startup Aliro’s co-founder and CTO, Prineha Narang is an assistant professor at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Before this appointment, Narang came to Harvard as a Ziff Fellow and worked as a Research Scholar in Condensed Matter Theory at the MIT Department of Physics. She has a Ph.D. in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2017, Narang was named by Forbes Magazine on their “30under30” list for her work in quantum engineering.

This and other prizes have set the stage for Narang and Aliro’s goal to commercialize quantum technologies by developing future quantum networks and scalable quantum information processing with its unique Quantum Entanglement as a Service (EaaS), which promises to bring unparalleled security and applications to organizations across the globe. As Aliro’s CTO, Narang’s position will be crucial in achieving this.

5. David Bestwick: CTO at Arqit

David Bestwick: CTO at Arqit


While being the CTO of cloud-based quantum encryption startup Arqit, David Bestwick is also a co-founder of the company, too. Before co-founding Arqit, Bestwick co-founded Avanti Communications, a startup that pioneered the use of Ka band satcoms to deploy a fleet of four high throughput geostationary telecom satellites serving EMEA.

Along with his entrepreneurial experience, Bestwick has advised the European Space Agency on its telecommunications research strategy and sits on the Board of the Quantum Technology Industry Group. He earned a BSc Honours degree in astrophysics from the University of Leicester.

6. Christian Nietner: CTO at Avanetix

Christian Nietner: CTO at Avanetix


Christian Nietner is the CTO and co-founder of the Berlin-based startup Avanetix, which — by applying classical optimization methods, ML and QC — provides a unique, vertically integrated and industry-specific application software stack that solves today’s and tomorrow’s supply chain challenges. Before all that, Nietner spent some years as a data scientist.

Nietner gained a Ph.D. in theoretical quantum physics from TU Berlin.

7. Rut Lineswala: CTO at BosonQ Psi

Rut Lineswala: CTO at BosonQ Psi


CTO of Indian-based QC and multiphysics simulations startup BosonQ Psi, Rut Lineswala is currently getting his Ph.D. in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of hypersonic applications at the University of Minnesota.

At BosonQ Psi, Lineswala leads the technical team and focuses on emerging technologies and different areas to expand into. He is also actively looking at different kinds of simulations that can be integrated into the startup, along with advancements made in quantum computing.

8. Yehuda Naveh: CTO at Classiq

Yehuda Naveh: CTO at Classiq


Yehuda Naveh is CTO and co-founder of Israeli-based quantum startup Classiq, a company that provides a revolutionary quantum algorithm design software platform for the automated synthesis of quantum algorithms.

A quantum physicist and computer scientist by training, before founding Classiq, Naveh was a research staff member at IBM for two decades. An official member of the Forbes Technology Council, Naveh gained his Ph.D. in physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

9. Dana Anderson: CTO at ColdQuanta

Dana Anderson: CTO at ColdQuanta


CTO of Colorado-based QC company ColdQaunta, whose technology in laser-cooled atoms (including ions) is applied to a spectrum of quantum applications including timekeeping, inertial sensing, quantum communications, quantum networks and quantum computing, Dana Anderson is an applied physicist trained in quantum optics. With extensive experience in precision measurement, quantum technology, atomtronics, optical neural networks, signal processing, and quantum systems based on cold and ultra-cold atoms, at ColdQuanta he is responsible for maintaining the strategic and technical vision of the company.

Anderson has a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in quantum optics.

10. Oliver Maynard: CTO at Crypta Labs

Oliver Maynard: CTO at Crypta Labs


Oliver Maynard is in charge of the technical development of Crypta Labs’ HSM — Cicada, with a particular focus on the commercialization of the product. Working in the IT sector since the mid-1990s, in 2016, Maynard sold a company he had founded and joined quantum-based encryption solution startup Crypta Labs as CTO.

His first job at Crypta Labs was the completion of the Ministry of Defence-funded QRNG prototype. Since then, Maynard has helped build and patent the world’s first Quantum Hardware Security Module.

11. Jean-Charles Faugère: CTO at CryptoNext Security

Jean-Charles Faugère: CTO at CryptoNext Security


Jean-Charles Faugère is the co-founder and CTO of CryptoNext, a spinoff from Inria Paris and Sorbonne University. A pioneer in the area of quantum-safe cryptography, Faugère has impressively developed efficient algorithms and high-performance software that permit to assess the security of a large variety of quantum-safe cryptosystems.

The co-author of several submissions to the ongoing NIST post-quantum standardization process, Faugère’s resume boast time as a research director at INRIA and leader of a joint team between INRIA Paris and Sorbonne University. He has been awarded the Seymour Cray prize for a contribution to high-performance software and the Atos & Joseph Fourier prize in the area of quantum technologies for his contributions to quantum-safe cryptography.

12. Stephen Lyon: CTO at EeroQ

Stephen Lyon: CTO at EeroQ


Bringing decades of experience in semiconductor physics and engineering to leading quantum computing using electrons on helium startup EeroQ, Princeton University professor Stephen Lyon brought a lot to the company when he joined in the spring of this year.

“This technology holds promise for fast submicron quantum gates, comparable to silicon-based qubits, but with long-coherence mobile qubits, like trapped ions, and with device structures which have been fabricated using an unmodified CMOS foundry process. I began research in this field almost 20 years ago, and we have developed device models for quantum gates and demonstrated the ability to select electrons and rapidly move them around a chip without loss. I am excited to expand and accelerate progress in this field with EeroQ,” said Lyon when interviewed on his appointment.

Lyon, whose academic interest lies in optical processes in semiconductors, ultrafast processes and nonequilibrium transport, semiconductor nanostructures, and quantum computing gained his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

13. Ewan Munro: CTO at Entropica Labs

Ewan Munro: CTO at Entropica Labs


Ewan Munro is a theoretical physicist by training with a strong interest in algorithms, benchmarking, and product building. Leading Singapore’s Centre for Quantum Technologies (NUS) spinoff Entropica Lab’s technical strategy, he assists with the company’s quantum optimization and ML, supporting enterprise customers to understand and integrate quantum computing.

Munro has a Ph.D. in physics from the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore.

14. Elena Blokhina: CTO at Equal1.labs

Elena Blokhina: CTO at Equal1.labs


Elena Blokhina is one of only two women on the list. CTO of Silicon Valley/Dublin-based silicon semiconductor QC startup Equal1.labs, Blokhina specializes in microelectronic systems, multi-physics systems, quantum electronics, semiconductor devices, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and computer-aided design (CAD).

An associate professor at University College Dublin, Blokhina has a Ph.D. in physical and mathematical sciences from Saratov State University, Russia. Her expertise, then, will be a key factor in Equal1.labs developing its silicon-based quantum computer technology in collaboration with University College Dublin.

15. Norbert Lütkenhaus: CTO at EvolutionQ

Norbert Lütkenhaus: CTO at EvolutionQ


CTO and co-founder of EvolutionQ, a Canadian quantum-safe cybersecurity startup, Norbert Lütkenhaus is a global expert in fields that encompass quantum communication, quantum cryptography and quantum-safe cybersecurity.

As well as contributing groundbreaking work in design and security analysis of quantum key distribution (QKD) and quantum information processing with linear optics, Lütkenhaus currently leads the Optical Quantum Communications Theory Group at the University of Waterloo, is a professor at the Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo, a member of the Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute and of the Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, University of Waterloo, and an affiliate member of the Perimeter Institute, Waterloo. Lütkenhaus’ acumen and experience give EvolutionQ a big advantage in bringing quantum solutions for cybersecurity to market.

Lütkenhaus obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

16. Jungsang Kim: CTO at IonQ

Jungsang Kim: CTO at IonQ


Not really needing an introduction, Jungsang Kim is the co-founder and CTO of IonQ, a quantum computing hardware and software company based in College Park, Maryland. Currently developing a general-purpose trapped ion quantum computer and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits, Kim is helping to build the world’s best quantum computer to solve the world’s most complex problems.

With research that stretches from QC with trapped ions to quantum information science, novel photonic devices, and the application of quantum computers, Kim is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University.

He has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University.

17. Kuan Yen Tan: CTO at IQM Finland

Kuan Yen Tan: CTO at IQM Finland


CTO and co-founder of Finnish QC startup IQM Finland, Kuan Yen Tan is an Academy Research Fellow at Aalto University, Finland. Based in Espoo, he leads the charge in IQM delivering on-premises quantum computers for research laboratories and supercomputing centres and provides complete access to its hardware while for industrial customers providing quantum advantage through a unique application-specific co-design approach.

With a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UNSW Australia, Kuan Yen Tan’s expertise will be vital for IQM’s future strategy.

18.Mike Brown: CTO at ISARA Corporation

Mike Brown: CTO at ISARA Corporation


Mike Brown is the CTO and co-founder of security solutions company ISARA Corporation, which specializes in creating class-defining quantum-safe cryptography for today’s computing ecosystems. Based in the quantum hub of Waterloo, Ontario, Brown is responsible for the technical vision and direction of the startup, with his teams particularly focused on research in quantum-safe algorithms as well as how to implement them in a secure and efficient manner.

An experienced security executive who finds fulfillment in his role by helping his teams be successful, before co-founding ISARA Brown was a founding member of the product security practice at BlackBerry.

Brown has a B.Math in cryptography from the University of Waterloo.

19. Thomas Decker: CTO at JoS Quantum

Thomas Decker: CTO at JoS Quantum


Joining JoS Quantum back in 2019, prior to this CTO Thomas Decker worked as a software developer for a high-performance database company where he was responsible for the optimization algorithms. Decker has held an impressive number of postdoctoral research positions, including at the University of Washington in Seattle, at McGill University in Montreal and at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore.

His research is focused on the design and analysis of quantum algorithms and on quantum information theory, so this clearly helps JoS QUANTUM provide its high-performance software and algorithms to enable the next technological revolution.

Decker received his Ph.D. in quantum algorithms from the University of Karlsruhe (KIT).

20. Philip Sibson: CTO at KETS Quantum Security

Philip Sibson: CTO at KETS Quantum Security


CTO and co-founder of KETS Quantum Security, a Bristol, UK-based startup developing miniaturized photonic communications technology to offer the ultimate in digital security, Philip Sibson is an experienced engineer and researcher with a Ph.D. in photonic quantum technologies from Bristol University.

Sibson’s knowledge is sure to help KETS with the continuing development of its technologies for quantum-secured communications, including QKD and QRNG.

21. Jan Spallek: CTO at Kiutra

Jan Spallek: CTO at Kiutra


Jan Spallek is CTO and co-founder of kiutra, a German QC startup that is providing next-generation, cryogen-free cooling solutions for basic research, material science, quantum technology, high-performance electronics, and detector applications.

Spallek heads the hardware development team and oversees IP creation. He studied physics at the TU Munich before joining the Chair for Topology of Correlated Systems for his Ph.D. Here he gained extensive experience in the design and operation of ADR systems for low-temperature research. This research, no doubt, will assist kiutra immeasurably in its search for a cooling system that can magnetically achieve temperatures close to absolute zero (near -273°C) on a permanent basis.

22. Samuel Mugel: CTO at Multiverse Computing

Samuel Mugel: CTO at Multiverse Computing


CTO of software provider for companies from the financial industry wanting to gain an edge with quantum computing, Multiverse Computing, Samuel Mugel is an expert in QC and quantum machine learning (QML). With a Ph.D. in ultracold atoms jointly awarded by ICFO (Spain) and the University of Southampton, Mugel’s work as CTO at Multiverse Computing encompasses implementing algorithms on present-day quantum computers, co-authoring articles about quantum computing in finance and developing quantum computing use-cases in finance.

23.Bill Shipman: CTO at POLARISqb

Bill Shipman: CTO at POLARISqb


Bill Shipman is CTO and co-founder of POLARISqb, a startup utilizing QC, AI, ML and personalized medicine to disrupt drug design. With a demonstrated history of working in diverse scientific fields as a systems architect, systems developer, research scientist, as well as a director of cloud computing at Cloud Pharmaceuticals, Shipman is skilled in Python, Java, SQL, and C#.

He has an M.Sc. in computer science and information systems from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

24. Tomas Babej: CTO at ProteinQure

Tomas Babej: CTO at ProteinQure


Co-founder and CTO at Canadian computational platform for the design of protein therapeutics ProteinQure, Tomas Babej an entrepreneur with a strong engineering background, interested in ML, QC and their intersection, quantum ML.

Babej has a MA degree in algorithm design, optimization and QC from the University of Brno, Czech Republic.

25.Robert Love: CTO at Q-CTRL

Robert Love: CTO at Q-CTRL


As the first employee and CTO of Q-CTRL, Australia’s first venture-capital-backed quantum technology startup that is focused on leveraging the power of quantum control to build a totally new industry, it’s Robert Love’s role “to build and lead the software engineering teams, deliver value to customers by ensuring scientific R&D translates to product development, and oversee ongoing business operations.”

With over two decades’ experience delivering innovative software solutions and improving business processes using Agile frameworks such as Lean, Kanban and Scrum, Love’s technical skills, academic background and leadership experience will certainly be important for Q-CTRL’s further development.

Love has an MA in interactive and digital media from the University of Sydney.

26.Svetoslav Sotirov: CTO at Qaisec

Svetoslav Sotirov is the CTO and co-founder of Bulgarian startup Qaisec, which specializes in the fields of quantum encryption and AI. His expertise in system analysis, design and development of software systems gives Qaisec an advantage on the market.

Sotirov has an MA in computing equipment and technologies from the Technology School Electronic Systems (TUES), Sofia, Bulgaria.

27. Jules van Oven: CTO at QBLOX

Jules van Oven: CTO at QBLOX


Jules van Oven is co-founder and CTO of Dutch startup Qblox, which as a spinoff of QuTech, designs quantum control stacks that can be easily integrated into its customers’ quantum computers.

Van Oven has an MSc in applied physics from the Delft University of Technology.

28. Jean-Philippe Bourgoin: CTO at QEYnet

Jean-Philippe Bourgoin: CTO at QEYnet


Jean-Philippe Bourgoin is the CTO and co-founder of Toronto-based quantum startup QEYnet, developing a global, low-cost, microsatellite-enabled quantum key distribution network.

Bourgoin has led development, testing, and field demonstrations of satellite payload component prototypes and supporting ground systems. His expertise includes quantum optics, free-space optical communication, optical propagation modelling, and field implementation of quantum cryptography.

With a Ph.D. from the Institute for Quantum Computing following research focused on satellite-based quantum cryptography as part of the Canadian QEYSSat initiative, Bourgoin’s expertise will help his startup establish a new era of ultra-secure communication for its customers.

29. Felipe Favaro de Oliveira: CTO at Qnami

Felipe Favaro de Oliveira is CTO and co-founder of Swiss quantum sensing startup Qnami, a company on the cusp of control and measurement of the state of a single electron that will allow them to measure what could never be measured before. An experimental physicist by training specializing in materials science, Favaro de Oliveira’s entrepreneurial mindset, passion for the development of disruptive technologies — particularly nano-fabrication and its application in the real world — is an asset Qnami can’t do without if it’s to become a leading company in the space.

Favaro de Oliveira has a Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart, where he initiated the development of innovative processes to improve the quality of quantum sensors in ultra-pure diamonds.

30. Robert Stockill: CTO at Qphox

Robert Stockill: CTO at Qphox


Robert Stockill is the CTO and co-founder of yet another Netherlands-based startup, Qphox, out to building the world’s first quantum modem device, connecting quantum computers across a quantum network.

With Qphox, Stockill is focused on trying to understand how we can construct large-scale quantum states, both by understanding in detail the dynamics of optically active quantum systems and by demonstrating the fundamental protocols for networked quantum information.

He has a Ph.D. and a PostDoc in Physics from the University of Cambridge, as well as being a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Delft University of Technology.

31. Denis Mandich: CTO at Qrypt

Denis Mandich: CTO at Qrypt


Denis Mandich is the CTO and co-founder of quantum secure encryption startup Qrypt. A physicist by training who holds multiple patents in cryptographic algorithms, cloud services and quantum hardware entropy sources, he is helping to build Qrypt’s post-quantum encryption systems to secure data in the quantum age.

Mandich’s work for the US government, where he worked for more than two decades in information technology — along with his experience as a CTO with several tech startups — is sure to aid the New York City-based company with its post-quantum cryptographic software and quantum random number generation hardware products.

32.Vincent Elfving: CTO at Qu & Co

Vincent Elfving: CTO at Qu & Co


A quantum physicist specializing in quantum chemistry, quantum computing, machine learning, computational science and software development, Vincent Elfving is the CTO and co-founder of Amsterdam-based startup Qu & Co. The startup, founded in 2016, is developing quantum-computing algorithms, software and services running on currently available quantum hardware in areas such as computational chemistry, computational finance, machine learning and combinatorial optimization, and Elfving is very much a part of this central effort.

With a Ph.D. in theoretical quantum optics from the University of Copenhagen, Elfving’s prowess will be crucial as the startup embarks on its journey in quantum chemistry and other deep tech areas.

33. Niccolo Somaschi: CTO at Quandela

Niccolo Somaschi: CTO at Quandela


Niccolo Somaschi is the CTO and co-founder of French startup Quandela. Somaschi’s role as CTO is focused on the development of quantum technologies for real-life applications. Starting from quantum optics tools, Quandela and its CTO are contributing to the realization of quantum computing platforms and quantum communication networks by fabricating unique solid-state sources of quantum light.

Somaschi has a Ph.D. in the development of hybrid organic-inorganic light-emitting diodes, and fabrication, characterization and modelling. Additionally, he was also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) where he was busy with the development of solid-state quantum light sources for their implementation in quantum optics experiments.

34. Nitzan Livneh: CTO at Quant LR

Nitzan Livneh: CTO at Quant LR


CTO at Israeli quantum cryptography startup Quant LR, Nitzan Livneh specializes in optics and quantum communication. This knowledge in these fields, for sure, gives the startup a head start in delivering reliable quantum cryptography products to its clients.

Livneh has a Ph.D. in applied physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

35. Michael Redding: CTO at Quantropi

Michael Redding: CTO at Quantropi


Michael Redding has been the CTO of Canadian cyberSecurity company Quantropi since March of this year. Before Quantropi, Redding was the managing director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, where he grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups. This experience will be valuable for Quantropi’s future growth.

Redding has a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Northwestern.

36. Yonatan Cohen: CTO at Quantum Machines

Yonatan Cohen: CTO at Quantum Machines


Entrepreneur and ex-managing director of the Weizmann Institute’s entrepreneurship program, Yonatan Cohen is the co-founder and CTO of Israeli-based Quantum Machines, a startup developing innovative software, hardware and electronics in QC.

With a Ph.D. focused on topological quantum computations from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Cohen’s expertise as CTO and the multidisciplinary team alongside him are out to solve the challenges of quantum control, ultimately helping to make a large-scale quantum computer a reality for us all.

37. Jon Ander Oribe Sánchez: CTO at Quantum Mads

Jon Ander Oribe Sánchez: CTO at Quantum Mads


Jon Ander Oribe Sánchez is a software developer by profession with a BS in computer science and software development from the Universidad Isabel I, Burgos, Spain.

As CTO of Quantum Mads — a Spanish startup pioneering the quantum transition in finance, logistics and cybersecurity — Oribe Sánchez is responsible for its respective cloud application architecture design, the development of a pipeline for testing upcoming updates and tools to monitor the progress, hiring and managing IT specialists, data scientists and engineers, as well as designing of the company’s project roadmap.

38. John Morton: CTO at Quantum Motion

John Morton: CTO at Quantum Motion


John Morton is the founder and CTO of Quantum Motion, a London-based startup developing a revolutionary technology platform based on a scalable array of qubits fabricated on silicon with a CMOS compatible process. Yet that’s not all, for there must be 48 hours in Morton’s day, as he is also the director and co-founder of another London startup, Phasecraft. And let’s not forget the services he provides for Q&I as a consultant, too.

Morton has a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in quantum computing, has been a Royal Society University Research Fellow and is currently Professor of Nanoelectronics at UCL, and director of the UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute.

39. Douglas Birch: CTO at Quantum Trilogy

Douglas Birch: CTO at Quantum Trilogy


An executive-level IT professional who also possesses expertise in digital transformation, cybersecurity and the private and public sector, Douglas Birch brings a lot to the table as CTO Quantum Trilogy, an NYC-based startup developing encryption and key distribution via a proprietary quantum random number generator (QRNG).

Birch received an MSc in technology and innovation management from the University of Tampa.

40. Shahryar Shaghaghi: CTO at Quantum Xchange

Shahryar Shaghaghi: CTO at Quantum Xchange


As CTO of Quantum Xchange, a leader in quantum-safe products and services for crypto agility and quantum readiness headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Shahryar Shaghaghi brings more than 30 years of experience in technology and risk management consulting, solutions/frameworks development, and global implementations to the position.

With an MS in software engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, reportedly the best aviation and aerospace university in the world, Shaghaghi’s solid track record of leading and successfully executing some key initiatives to enable strategic transformations, as well as regulatory and compliance requirements, is nothing but positive news for Quantum Xchange and its desire to increase their quantum-protection levels through its quantum-safe key distribution system.

41. Duncan Earl: CTO at Qubitekk

Duncan Earl: CTO at Qubitekk


Duncan Earl is founder, president & CTO of Qubitekk, a California-based startup developing components and systems for the emerging quantum sensing, quantum cryptography, and quantum computing markets.

With more than two decades’ experience researching and building optical technologies for both the private sector and government organizations, Earl is an important cog in the Qubitekk machine.

The holder of many patents and research publications, Earl is also the former founder and CEO of Sunlight Direct, Inc., an ORNL spin-off that commercialized a passive, fibre optic solution for delivering sunlight to the interior of commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption.

He gained a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

42. George Siopsis: CTO at Qubit Engineering

George Siopsis: CTO at Qubit Engineering


Theoretical particle physicist George Siopsis is co-founder and CTO of Qubit Engineering, a QC startup based in Tennessee that has developed new optimization methods for micro-siting for wind turbines.

Along with his work at Qubit Engineering, Siopsis is a professor of physics at the University of Tennessee, currently working on quantum computing and quantum information processing, and along with collaborators at ORNL, he has built a quantum optics laboratory for quantum cryptography. His research is funded by DoE/ORNL, ONR, DHS/CIRI, ARO, and DARPA.

Siopsis has a Ph.D. in physics from Caltech.

43. John Leiseboer: CTO at QuintessenceLabs

John Leiseboer: CTO at QuintessenceLabs


John Leiseboer is the CTO of QuintessenceLabs, an Australian quantum-enhanced cybersecurity startup based in Canberra, the nation’s capital.

With over forty years developing commercial and military communications and security products, Leiseboer — whose specialties are in security architecture, encryption, key management, and data communications — brings his wealth of experience in technology and ideas to QuintessenceLabs’ task of delivering practical and secure communications products for its customer base.

Leiseboer obtained his B.Eng from the University of Sydney, specializing in electronics, communications and digital systems.

44. Jelmer Renema: CTO at QuiX

Jelmer Renema: CTO at QuiX


Jelmer Renema is the CTO of QuiX, a Netherlands-based startup providing a plug-and-play integrated and reconfigurable light-based quantum processor.

A specialist in integrated photonics, quantum optics and superconducting devices, Renema has a Ph.D. from Leiden University in physics.

45. Mael Flament: CTO at Qunnect

Mael Flament: CTO at Qunnect


CTO and co-founder of Qunnect, an NYC-based startup building hardware to transform telecommunications infrastructure into scalable quantum networks, Mael Flament is an expert in hardware development, instrumentation and detector design for physics, quantum tech, and space who can boast a physics and engineering background with expertise in designing and optimizing industrial-level technologies derived from academic innovations.

With more than a decade in the design of precision scientific instrumentation, before Qunnect Flament conducted research at Stony Brook University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, CERN, and NASA.

His work at Qunnect is, in his own words, “an extension of his graduate work developing a new generation of compact room-temperature quantum memories and quantum networking components in the Quantum Information Sciences and Technology laboratory at Stony Brook University.”

46. Vivek Shenoy: CTO at QNu Labs

Vivek Shenoy: CTO at QNu Labs


In the role since early 2021, Vivek Shenoy is the CTO of Indian startup QNu Labs, a Bengaluru-based enterprise that is leveraging quantum technology to offer solutions in data centre protection and multi-factor authentication.

With experience as an R&D engineer, product architect and consultant, Shenoy employs his product design and pedagogy skills to disrupt the cybersecurity market on the subcontinent and beyond.

47. Kostantin Vilk: CTO at QuSecure

Kostantin Vilk: CTO at QuSecure


CTO of the founder of QuSecure, a San Mateo, California- based startup that has developed a quantum resilient technology to secure businesses from cyber attacks, Konstantin Vilk — a proven entrepreneur with two successful exits under his belt — has 20 years of senior leadership experience in cybersecurity, information security, product innovation, AI, QC, post-quantum cryptography, and other sectors.

Vilk has a BA in business management from Monash University, Australia.

48. Oleg Mukhanov: CTO at SeeQC

Oleg Mukhanov: CTO at SeeQC


Oleg Mukhanov is the CTO and co-founder of SeeQC. Based in New York State, the startup is developing the first digital quantum computing platform for global businesses by combining classical and quantum technologies to address the efficiency, stability and cost issues endemic to quantum computing systems.

Mukhanov, who has a Ph.D. in physics from Moscow State University, is the author or co-author of over 200 scientific papers, book chapters, and more than thirty patents. He is also a member of advisory committees of international conferences, projects and institutions on superconducting electronics, was chair and member of organizing and program committees of many national and international superconductor electronics conferences. With all this knowledge and experience, SeeQC is in good hands.

49. Robert Bedington: CTO at SpeQtral

Robert Bedington: CTO at SpeQtral


CTO and co-founder of SpeQtral (formerly known as S15 Space Systems), Robert Bedington is hard at work developing commercial quantum secure communication from space, and laying the foundations for a global quantum internet.

A former Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), Singapore, Bedington was coordinating the development of NanoSatellites with Quantum technology demonstrator payloads which will enable future QKD missions, including the SpooQy-1 mission to demonstrate an entangled photon pair source in a 3U CubeSat and the QubeSat mission, joint with RAL Space in the UK, to demonstrate entanglement-based QKD between a CubeSat and an optical ground station.

Now Bedington will use his expertise to ensure that SpeQtral can keep communications secure from quantum computers through technologies like QKD, and also enable future quantum devices to exchange quantum information through a global network of distributed entanglement.

Bedington received his Ph.D. instrument science (MEMS plasma analyzers) from University College London.

50. Valerii Vinokur: CTO at Terra Quantum

Valerii Vinokur: CTO at Terra Quantum


In the job since early 2021, Valerii Vinokur is the CTO at Terra Quantum, a Swiss quantum cryptography company.

One of the most highly decorated quantum scientists in the world who has made foundational contributions to our understanding of the physics of superconductors, Vinokur will oversee the project portfolio with a particular focus on hardware components, while applying his deep and long-term world-class experience to expanding the intellectual property and patent portfolio.

Prior to joining Terra Quantum, Vinokur spent more than three decades as a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, where his research focused on understanding topological quantum matter and superconductivity.

Vinokur has a Ph.D. in physics from the Institute of Solid State Physics, Chernogolovka, Russia.

51. Yudong Cao: CTO at Zapata Computing

Yudong Cao: CTO at Zapata Computing


And finally, we have Yudong Cao, CTO and founding scientist of what is arguably the most high-profile QC startup on the list, the Boston, Massachusetts-based Zapata Computing, whose quantum platform Orquestra(R) combines a powerful software platform and quantum algorithm libraries to deliver real-world advances in computational power for applications.

With a Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue University, Cao employs his expertise in this field to serve as the foundation for the applications and solutions Zapata can offer their enterprise clients to work on developing quantum and quantum-inspired algorithms for near-term applications.

Have we missed any out or got something wrong? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

The Quantum Insider (TQI)

The Quantum Insider (TQI)


Just in case this list hasn’t satisfied your cravings for data on CTOs in the quantum space, you can pop on over to The Quantum Insider (TQI), TQD’s very own data platform. Here you can find deep and insightful information 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!

Deep Tech Insider (DTI)

Deep Tech Insider (DTI)


Interested in other niches of deep tech? Good, TQD team has that covered, too: Check out the Deep Tech Insider, the best place for news on all that is happening in the world of deep tech.

For more market insights, check out our latest quantum computing news here.

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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