Quantum Bayesian Networks

April 7, 2018

IBM announces partnership with 8 startups and Zapata announces $5.4M seed investment

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 3:22 am

Check out this IBM Press Release. It announces that the following 8 startups will be joining the “IBM Q Network”

  1. Zapata (U of Toronto, Aspuru-Guzik)
  2. Strangeworks (Austin TX, Whurley)
  3. QXbranch (Australia, M. Brett)
  4. Quantum Benchmark (Waterloo Canada, Lazaridis)
  5. QCWare (Ames-NASA)
  6. Q-CTRL (Univ. of Sidney, Biercuk)
  7. Cambridge Quantum Computing (London, Ilyas Khan)
  8. 1QBit (Vancouver)

It seems that the main thing these startups are getting is free access, which is not granted to everyone, to the 50 qubit IBM quantum computer. Not exactly like winning the lottery though. I suspect that in a few weeks, Google will grant everyone free access to their 72 qubit quantum computer.

The first company to be mentioned is Zapata, which starts with the letter Z. huh?? Inverse alphabetical order? You’ve got to be kidding me. Isn’t Zapata soon going to be one of IBM’s main competitors in the quantum chemistry arena? Isn’t IBM betting their qc farm on quantum chemistry? I hope, for IBM’s sake, that the master mind at IBM who conceived this program knows what he is doing.

Zapata has been much in the news lately.

Aspuru-Guzik, prof at Harvard for almost a decade and famous for his work using quantum computers to do chemistry, is moving to the U of Toronto in July. (I suspect that Matthias Troyer, another quantum chemistry eminence, will be offered and will accept the position at Harvud being vacated by Aspuru. If that happens, this will totally, completely deplete Microsoft’s quantum chemistry brain trust. He he).

Aspuru started Zapata a few months ago. Yesterday, Zapata announced that it obtained $5.4M in seed funding!!

All this Zapata news is very good news for us, artiste-qb.net. Our business plan has nothing to do with quantum chemistry, so there is very little overlap between Zapata and us. Zapata will attract qc talent to Toronto, artiste-qb.net’s home town. Such a high valuation for Zapata makes Artiste a real bargain.

3 of the 8 companies in the above list got their original funding less than 5 years ago by promising to investors that they would write software that would run on Dwave’s annealer quantum computer. But now they claim they were IBM’s best buddies and gate model experts all along. Gate model and annealer softwares look nothing alike. Judases!

All this IBM press coverage must have Microsoft stewing with envy. MS won’t have an anyon quantum computer for at least 5 years, if ever. But MS could easily compete with Google and IBM in the transmon quantum computer arena by buying Rigetti (or some similar, alternative startup, like Yale QC). The price of Rigetti is pocket change to MS. I’m sure such a sale is being actively discussed behind closed doors. After all, very few Silicon Valley startups ever reach IPO; instead, they either go bankrupt or are bought out by one of the giant Valley companies.

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