Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by Dr. Juha Vartiainen of IQM.
(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)
Introduction and Background of Dr Juha
- The speaker is excited about the potential of quantum computing to solve various problems and achieve incredible things.
- Dr Juha, the second speaker, is asked to share his journey into the world of quantum computing.
- Dr Juha spent a year looking for funding for his startup, eventually raising 11.5 million euros.
- His company is a university spin-out from a research center in Finland.
- They have a long history of work in quantum computing, with collaborations and expertise from various sources.
The State of Quantum Computing
- Quantum computers have been "two years away" for a long time, but they are now transitioning from university research to commercial applications.
- Dr Juha's company focuses on providing tools for others to develop quantum computing solutions.
- They believe that quantum advantage, where quantum computers show exponential speedup, is still a few years away.
Challenges in the Quantum Computing Industry
- Despite large investments from companies like Google and IBM, small startups like Dr Juha's can still find a place in the ecosystem.
- Collaboration with other companies and leveraging existing resources in Finland helps them overcome budget constraints.
- While they may not directly receive funds from big players, they have raised close to 100 million euros and can access capital through collaborations.
Advantages and Challenges of PhD Entrepreneurship
- Hiring employees with PhDs brings advantages such as quick learning and adaptability.
- The biggest challenge is managing different perspectives and ensuring alignment towards company goals.
- Researchers may need to develop business acumen and focus on customer needs rather than perfecting the product.
Impact of Quantum Computing on Industries
- Quantum computing can complement AI technologies by accelerating computations and reducing energy consumption.
- Applications include simulating molecules for drug discovery, optimizing financial and logistics problems, and improving energy efficiency.
- Quantum computing will provide a new toolkit for solving complex problems that classical computing and AI alone cannot address.
Software Development for Quantum Computing
- Currently, programming interfaces for quantum computing are low-level, requiring specialized knowledge.
- Libraries are available, but it takes time to develop user-friendly interfaces for broader adoption.
- Better programming interfaces are being developed to make quantum computing accessible to a larger number of software developers.
Early Sales and Market Strategy
- Dr Juha's company started aggressive marketing and selling early, even before having a final product.
- They approached public entities and universities, offering quantum computers for research and educational purposes.
- Learning from customer conversations helped them understand different market needs and adjust their product and marketing accordingly.
Building a Team for Quantum Computing
- Dr Juha's team consists of highly skilled physicists and experts from various fields.
- They targeted the best talent globally and found that attracting top individuals created a snowball effect in attracting more talent.
- Having a strong initial team is crucial for building a successful company in a challenging technical field.
Excitement for the Future of Quantum Computing
- Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize various industries, including drug development, climate solutions, and AI.
- Applications such as simulating molecules, optimizing logistics, and answering fundamental questions about reality are expected.
- It will enable faster, more efficient, and environmentally friendly solutions to complex problems.