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Quantum Startup foundry

Energizing innovative companies to bring quantum technologies to market.

The Quantum Startup Foundry (QSF) at the University of Maryland brings together the resources needed—physical and virtual—to support entrepreneurs and startups in accelerating quantum technologies’ time to market. QSF will bring entrepreneurs together with industry and government customers, investors, technical mentors, leading-edge research and IP, and quantum-specific infrastructure (equipment, tools, facilities). Located in the Washington, DC metro area, QSF offers the perfect landing and launch spot for quantum companies.

'24 Pre-TraQtion Cohort info session will be available soon
Our startup would not likely have been possible at other universities.

Chris Monroe

Co-founder of IonQ, College Park Professor

Read about IonQ's Launch

Navigating Quantum

TraQtion Program

Connecting entrepreneurial companies with the best type of capital: paying customers.

TraQtion is a market accelerator program that leverages UMD quantum centers, the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA) and other partnerships to connect companies with large government contractors for technology validation and potential customers looking for quantum and quantum-enabling technologies.

Join the TraQtion program

Creating the best TraQtion for any business

By partnering with prime contractors and directly accessing customer needs through regional TechBridge programs, TraQtion:

  • Supports early-stage companies in working with larger companies and partners

  • Connects startups with partners and customers for market feedback and, ultimately, confirmation of product market fit and technology readiness for deployment

  • Solidifies customer requirements and quantum’s unique value proposition to meet those needs

  • Provides partners with access to a pipeline of promising technology startups

Powering Quantum

The program provides startups with

  • Partner matchmaking

  • Education on the mechanisms for working with large companies (insurance, contracting, accounting requirements as well as IP considerations and protection)

Navigating Quantum

Pre-TraQtion Program

For earlier-stage quantum and enabling technology startups who are looking for grant funding opportunities.

The Pre-TraQtion program helps navigate the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for specific topics related to quantum technologies.

The Pre-TraQtion cohort 2022 concluded on Oct 19, 2022 with an internal pitch day. All 10 participating startups pitched their companies to a group of investors.

QSF will be hosting the next cohort in 2023.

Register for 2023 cohort

Program Highlights

  • Facilitated customer discovery through a quantum-specific I-Corps program
  • Connect with program officers through QSF partners with the goals of understanding their specific wants and needs
  • Matchmaking with potential research and support partners (academic and/or corporate)
  • Assistance with setting up and writing your SBIR application
  • Assistance with setting up back-office support for government grants such as SBIR/STTR’s
  • Simplified letter of support request process
  • Access quantum-specific market and commercialization assessment assistance
  • Leverage other regional quantum ecosystem efforts
  • Office space (for an additional fee, can be contingent on award)
  • Access to select campus facilities such as 3D printing and the NanoCenter cleanroom (additional fees may apply)

$4 billion in research funding

Every year, eleven federal agencies fund a total of $4 billion in SBIR/STTR. In recent years quantum-related SBIR/STTR funding has grown 19% annually. 60 to 80 quantum-related projects are funded each year, primarily by DoD, NSF, NASA, and DoE.

The Capital of Quantum

The Quantum Startup Foundry is conveniently located adjacent to the University of Maryland campus. This space has a combination of offices, conference rooms, and dry labs. It is also connected to the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads(MAX), which provides secure internet connections suitable for large research projects with high bandwidth needs, such as those in quantum. The Quantum Startup Foundry will eventually move to a new development taking place at the gateway to the Discovery District directly across from the main campus entrance at Campus Drive and Baltimore Avenue.

Quantum at Maryland

Advisory board

  • Fangyu Cao, George Mason University
  • Gloria Jacobovitz, Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab
  • John Joaquin, EY
  • Geoffrey King, Connected DMV and Potomac Quantum Innovation Center
  • Denis Mandich, CTO | Qrypt
  • Denise Ruffner, VP, Chief Business Officer, Atom Computing and Women in Quantum
  • Dr. Ilya Safro, University of Delaware
  • Alan Salari, Founder, Quaxys
  • John Sawyer, Interim Executive Director, Mid Atlantic Quantum Alliance
  • George Thomas, Connected DMV and Potomac Quantum Innovation Center
  • Sydney J. Ulvick, Lockheed Martin
  • Karen Hathaway Viani, The MITRE Corporation


Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance
Quantum Technology Center

Potomac Quantum Innovation Center
DC I-Corps

Partnership Opportunities

News & Events

New Home of Quantum

$300M, mixed use development announced in UMD's Discovery District, to become the home of quantum.


Potomac Quantum Innovation Center Joins Forces with Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance

DMV leaders came together to formally launch the Steering Committee of the Potomac Quantum Innovation Center (PQIC) with the goal of accelerating Greater Washington’s path to becoming a regional quantum innovation hub.

Read the press release

IonQ Becomes First Publicly Traded, Pure-Play Quantum Computing Company

IonQ closed business combination with dMY Technology Group III and listed on public market to begin trading on NYSE under ticker “IONQ” on October 1, 2021.


About UMD

The University of Maryland (UMD) is widely recognized as one of the top global quantum powerhouses, as well as a leading driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. As the organizers of the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA), UMD has created the largest regional quantum expertise collective in the world.

Quantum at Maryland
Quantum at Maryland Mid-Atlantic Quantum Discovery District University of Maryland