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Chicago startup EeroQ wants to build the world's first, best quantum computer – The Business Journals

Computer engineers have been trying to build quantum computers since the 1980s, and Chicago startup EeroQ thinks it might have cracked the code using electrons floating on helium.
“We want to build the world’s best quantum computer, which would be one of the most significant achievements that humanity has conquered,” Nick Farina, CEO of EeroQ, told the Chicago Business Journal. “Billions of dollars have been invested to get us nowhere today, but the progress is increasing now so rapidly that when we can build the world’s best quantum computer, we will have radical impact on areas like drug discovery and climate change.”
The quantum computer chip design company announced its first round of institutional funding after spending five years in research and development, receiving a $7.25 million seed round led by investment firm B Capital. Other participants included V Capital, Calibrate Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Unbound Ventures and Red Cedar Ventures.
B Capital led the funding round from its dedicated early-stage fund Ascent Fund II, which aims to help global entrepreneurs lead the next wave of innovation through technology and digital enhancements.
Farina wants to build a large-scale quantum computer — the next generation of supercomputing — base on EeroQ’s quantum chip.
“Other designs require your quantum computer to be the size of a data room, but because electrons are so small, we’re able to fit many of them on a small area,” he said. “We take a standard fabricated computer chip and we just add this layer of liquid helium, which then prevents all of the defects and disorders that have plagued other quantum computing systems.”
B Capital Chair Howard Morgan said that what excites him about the design is that it can be easily mass produced.
“IBM is talking about getting to 4,000 qubits over the next decade. And we think that we can get there almost a decade faster,” he told the Chicago Business Journal.
One of the big applications he sees in quantum computing is in drug manufacturing.
With the Chicago Quantum Exchange and multiple local universities and large companies investing in the field, the city has emerged as a hub for quantum computing talent.
EeroQ moved its headquarters from Michigan to Chicago at the beginning of the year, moving into almost 10,000 square feet of engineering lab and office space in The Terminal, a new innovation workspace located at 1334 N. Koster Ave. in Humboldt Park.
Farina said he’s found Chicago to be a great place to grow.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, investors became much more comfortable funding companies outside of where their primary office was, and there’s so much talent in Chicago,” he said. “The hardest thing about building a quantum computing startup is the ability to find talented people. The New York Times estimated there’s 1,000 to 2,000 folks nationally who are experts in this field. So finding them is not trivial.”
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