Welinq, a French quantum technology startup, was among the deeptech winners at the Global Challenge, an international startup competition organized by Hello Tomorrow.
The competition, which named 11 winners out of 70 finalists from around the world, is designed to address the needs of early-stage deep tech startups across all industries, offers a platform for science-based entrepreneurs to showcase their projects and provides opportunities for equity-free funding, global visibility and connections with key players in the deep tech ecosystem.
Welinq, the winner in the “Advanced Computing & Electronics” category, is a Paris-based startup that develops quantum interconnects based on neutral-atom technology. Their goal is to deploy the world’s most efficient quantum memories at an industrial standard in quantum computing and quantum communication infrastructures.
The quantum memories developed by Welinq enable the storage and on-demand release of quantum information without altering its properties. Leveraging laser-cooled neutral-atom technology, the team has demonstrated with 90% the world record in storage-and-retrieval efficiency, with a qubit fidelity above 99%. The team is now developing its first product of highly-efficient quantum memory, which will be integrated, transportable and deployable in quantum computing and quantum communication infrastructures.
This year’s competition received over 4,000 applications from around 100 countries, making the selection process particularly challenging for the jury, made up of scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs.
Among the 11 winners were two other French deeptech startups – Sweetch Energy and Touch Sensity.
Sweetch Energy, winner of the “Industry 4.0 & autonomous machines” category, aims to provide a new source of clean energy for remote areas. Their patented technology allows for the conversion of sugar into electricity through microbial fuel cells, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for energy production.
Finally, Touch Sensity, winner of the second “Industry 4.0 & autonomous machines” category, has developed a tactile sensor for industrial automation that enables robots to have a sense of touch, leading to more efficient and safer interactions with humans and the environment.
Organizers report that the competition has already helped previous winners and finalists raise over $2 billion in funding, highlighting the immense value that the competition brings to the deeptech ecosystem.