Posts

From left to right: Ton van ‘t Noordende (Investor in Residence, Quantum Delta NL), Matthijs Rijlaarsdam (QuantWare). Alessandro Bruno (QuantWare), Freeke Heijman (director Quantum Delta NL). Photos by Rebekka Mell, in the DiCarlo Lab (QuTech).

Quantum Delta NL announces the launch of a two million euro micro fund called ‘LightSpeed Fund 1’. The fund will focus on supporting early stage quantum startups. Delft-based startup and participant in the LightSpeed program, QuantWare, is the first startup to receive funding.

The fund is part of Quantum Delta NL’s strategic roadmap to increase the number of successful quantum startups in the Netherlands. Currently, there are seven quantum startups in the Netherlands, and Quantum Delta NL is on a mission to see this number increase to 100 by 2027. These companies are considered to become of great value to the Dutch economy.

In pursuit of this goal, last month Quantum Delta NL launched its new initiative, LightSpeed. Lightspeed is a program connecting Dutch quantum startups in all phases, where the startups receive tailored assistance and guidance to scale up their businesses and optimize their attractiveness to top-tier investors. Specifically for the initiative, efforts were made to approach and bring in European and American funds with a wealth of experience to support startups. Lightspeed aims to create optimal conditions to build sustainable and future-proof startups.

Fund

Following today’s launch of the micro fund, managed by LightSpeed, Quantum Delta NL awards pre-seed tickets amounting to 50,000 euros each to early-stage startups in the field of quantum technology. LightSpeed adapted a modern instrument that is straightforward, founder-friendly and fills the gap in the earliest stage for quantum technology startups: the SAFE note (Simple Agreement for Future Equity). This approach gives startups the maximum flexibility needed in the earliest stages, particularly in the quantum technology space as development timelines and road to profitability extend far beyond that of classic startups. The investment does not have to be repaid, as with a traditional  convertible loan or note, if a startup fails to advance.

Quantum Delta NL’s Investor in Residence Ton van ‘t Noordende clarifies: “The Netherlands has a top position globally if we look at the number of quantum technology startups. This is unfortunately not the case on the capital side as there is virtually no professional venture capital available for early stage quantum startups. Our goal with Lightspeed is to enable founders to get the best possible start of their company.”

Quantum Delta NL has currently allocated two million euros for the pre-seed tickets and intends to award 5 to 15 tickets in fiscal year 2021/2022 and 35 to 40 tickets over the total period. The budget will be increased once Phase 1 of the National Growth Fund Program is underway.

QuantWare

QuantWare, a spinout of QuTech and part of the Quantum Delft ecosystem which develops high-performance quantum processors, is the first startup to tap into the microfund as part of a larger investment round. This makes it the second success story in the LightSpeed program. LightSpeed has also supported and guided the Delft-based startup QphoX in their fundraising round, which raised two million euros in funding with the help of the LightSpeed team to bring its Quantum Modem to the market.

Ambition

Startups and building a business ecosystem are key pillars of the Quantum Delta NL-program that heard it will receive  615 million euros from the National Growth Fund in April. Among other things, the program fuels the further development of the first European quantum computer and a quantum internet, openly accessible to end users in business and social sectors, including education. McKinsey calculated that in the medium term, the program will raise the gross domestic product by 5 to 7 billion euros and create 30,000 high-quality jobs in the Netherlands.

Freeke Heijman, director Quantum Delta NL: “We want the knowledge from the scientific labs to lead to new businesses in the Netherlands and Europe. With LightSpeed and this fund, promising initiatives will get an unprecedented acceleration to scale up their idea to a startup or scale-up.”

Ton van ‘t Noordende, Investor in Residence Quantum Delta NL: “We see the micro fund as a logical extension of LightSpeed. Promising and early stage initiatives only need a small injection of capital to hit the ground running. This is proven by QuantWare which, relying on our investment and on Lightspeed’s guidance, has raised immediate market capital even before launching their company.”

Alessandro Bruno, Director of Engineering at QuantWare: “The support from this fund and LightSpeed will allow us to bring our quantum processors to market. In doing so, we are making quantum accessible to more parties. In this way, we can make a crucial contribution that allows the Dutch quantum ecosystem to build on its current lead.”

Original press release here

On Monday 14 June the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer, visited the Quantum Delta NL Center for Quantum Materials and Technology in Eindhoven. During this working visit she was shown some of the cutting edge research projects and laboratories that stand to benefit directly from the € 615 million award from the National Growth Fund.

Alongside the discussions on Quantum, there was some time to focus on the unique open infrastructure that puts The Netherlands at the forefront of innovation in quantum- and nanotechnology. Out of the € 615 million NGF award, € 150 million is reserved for maintaining and developing this infrastructure. Prof. Guus Rijnders, chairman of NanoLabNL and member of the supervisory board of Quantum Delta, explained from first-hand experience why and how NanoLabNL develops and maintains a thriving technological ecosystem.

Guus Rijnders also offered Mrs. Keijzer the first edition of the newly published NanoLabNL Manifesto; a broad testimony that focuses on the importance of open access high-tech cleanrooms, facilities and equipment, important for education, research, technology development and transfer. NanoLabNL is crucial in maintaining our leading position in many current and future science, as well as research & innovation, that rely on micro and nano fabrication. He expressed his appreciation for the financial support and urged the State Secretary to keep the subject of a healthy and viable scientific climate high on the political agenda.

Download the manifesto

The construction of the Dutch “national headquarters” for quantum technology has begun. Located at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) campus, the House of Quantum will put scientists, students, entrepreneurs and financiers in close quarters, in hopes of creating a smooth ecosystem that will accelerate the technology’s development and adoption. It will also feature the Living Lab Quantum and Society: an environment where stakeholders come together to develop ethical, legal and social standards surrounding quantum technology.

Credit: Marieke de Lorijn

“With the House of Quantum, we’re taking the next important step in building the best ecosystem for quantum technology in Europe. It’s great to soon have a place where our program comes together physically. This really will be our business card to the world,” says Freeke Heijman, director of Quantum Delta NL, a public-private partnership tasked with bolstering Dutch quantum activities. The consortium was recently awarded 615 million euros in funding from the National Growth Fund.

Source news: Bits&Chips

Quantum Delta NL launches LightSpeed, a program that can connect Dutch quantum startups with 13.6 billion in investment capital, managed by European and U.S. funds. The startups will be guided by Quantum Delta NL’s Investor in Residence Ton van ‘t Noordende (founder PHX, founder and former deep tech investor | 01Ventures).

With LightSpeed, quantum startups will receive personalized tailored assistance to scale their businesses and optimize their attractiveness to investors. Specifically for the project, contact has been made with European and American funds, totalling up to 13.6 billion in investment capital. By helping these startups with everything related to scaling their business and fundraising, rapid scenario planning, cap table assessment and finding investors, Quantum Delta NL wants to increase the number of successful quantum startups founded in the Netherlands. Currently, the country has 7 official quantum startups. This number should grow to 100 by 2028. These companies are considered to become of great value to the Dutch economy.

LightSpeed is built for Dutch quantum startups in all phases, ranging from pre-foundation to series B and everything in between, with a focus on market validation and investment. The LightSpeed-team has led the effort and guided Delft-based quantum modem startup QphoX to successfully raise 2 million euros in funding, right out of stealth. The funding round was led by a European syndicate of top deeptech investors, Quantonation, Speedinvest and High-Tech Gründerfonds, with participation from TU Delft University.

Ambition
Startups and building a business ecosystem are key pillars of the Quantum Delta NL-programme that received 615 million euros from the National Growth Fund last month. Among other things, the programme fuels the further development of the first European quantum computer and a quantum internet, openly accessible to end users in business and social sectors, including education. McKinsey calculated that in the medium term, the programme will lead to a contribution to the gross domestic product of 5 to 7 billion euros and 30,000 high-quality jobs in the Netherlands.

Freeke Heijman, director Quantum Delta NL: “Building a business ecosystem is an important pillar of the Quantum Delta NL programme. We want the scientific knowledge which is developed in our quantum labs, to also lead to new business activity within the Netherlands and Europe. Because of LightSpeed, promising initiatives receive an unprecedented acceleration to scale their idea into a startup or scale up. Central to our guidance is the startup team’s specific needs.”

Ton van ‘t Noordende, Investor in Residence Quantum Delta NL: “Our goal is to make the Netherlands the number one quantum technology startup ecosystem in the world. That’s why LightSpeed is all about the builders. The founders who will actually make the quantum leap. We are there to facilitate their journey and provide the best possible, personalized support and access to top investors worldwide. We take a reverse approach to classic acceleration processes. It is not the stage they are in that counts, but the potential. With our network and support, we make sure they go from zero to 100 quickly.”

Simon Gröblacher, Co-founder QphoX: “LightSpeed is specifically designed to address the toughest question for any startup founder: are you ready to scale and if so, where do you start to discover investment-related parties that can help secure your vision? It has been incredibly helpful for us to take on this challenge with help from inspiring entrepreneurs like Ton van ‘t Noordende.”

Simon Gröblacher works on QphoX’ quantum modem. Photo: Rebekka Mell

Delft, 25 November 2020 – QuTech (a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO), KPN, SURF and OPNT are launching a collaboration designed to make significant progress in building a first ever quantum network connecting the Randstad, i.e. one of the main metropolitan regions in The Netherlands. The project will focus on connecting different quantum processors, a significant distance apart, over a Dutch network. The aim is to build the very first fully functional quantum network using high-speed fibre connections.

Fundamentally secure communication
A quantum network is a radically new internet technology, with the potential for creating pioneering applications. Such a network connects quantum processors to each other via optical channels, and this enables the exchange of so-called quantum bits (qubits). Qubits have a number of features that make them very different from the bits we currently know and use in classical networks. For example, quantum communication is potentially immune to eavesdropping practices. Quantum communication networks are expected to evolve over time towards a global quantum network, and this would allow secure communication; position verification; clock synchronisation; computation using external quantum computers; and more. Among other things, the project is intended to lead to new techniques, insights and standards that will bring a quantum network closer.

Fundamental and industrial research
Building a quantum network that enables all of the pioneering applications mentioned above is a unique challenge, and one that forms the focus for TKI project partners*. Around the world, researchers are working hard to turn quantum networks into reality, but all existing solutions are based on a simpler technology. This provides the incentive for TKI-partners to contribute to building a fully functional quantum network.

The quantum internet ecosystem of the future
Different parties in the collaboration each contribute their own areas of expertise. Ultimately, the mix of skills will help to create a programmable quantum network that connects quantum processors in different cities. Erwin van Zwet, Internet Division Engineering Lead at QuTech, underlined the project’s importance: “Working with these partners, we expect to have taken significant steps towards a quantum network by the end of the TKI project.”

Although the technology is still at an early stage, all four parties see the benefit of joining forces now. Wojciech Kozlowski, a postdoc at QuTech and responsible for one of the work packages in the TKI project: “Every day we are working on finding answers to the question of how network operators, such as KPN or SURF, can deploy a quantum network, and what sort of services they can offer their users. Although we are still in an early stage of development, we are already building the quantum internet ecosystem of the future by working with key partners. This ecosystem will prove crucial as our quantum network evolves into a fully-fledged quantum internet.”