Strangeworks Aims to Bring Quantum Computing to the Masses

Quantum computing is still in its infancy.

But in Austin, Strangeworks, founded by William Hurley, aka, Whurley, is spearheading a venture focused on making quantum computing applications accessible to everyone. It is one of a handful of startups around the world focused on tackling the really big problem of creating quantum computing applications.

On Wednesday, Hurley spoke to a packed auditorium to deliver the keynote address at InnoTech San Antonio, an annual IT conference and trade show held at the Norris Conference Center.

A day earlier, the Department of Energy announced it was making $40 million available to teams “with the potential to dramatically accelerate research in quantum computing.” Quantum computing is a combination of quantum physics, computer science, and information theory.

“In the rapidly evolving field of Beyond Moore’s Law computing, QC emerged as one of the most promising computing technologies in

recent years,” according to the DOE.

And that’s what Hurley has been saying since launching Strangeworks a year ago at South by Southwest in Austin. The startup raised $4 million in seed stage funding last June. At the InnoTech San Antonio presentation, Hurley said he runs a startup that is capital efficient and he’s selective on his investors.

“Quantum Computing needs long term investment – from founders and investors,” Hurley said.  

Strangeworks has created a quantum computing platform, which it announced at SXSW 2019, to bring the quantum computing industry together to share, collaborate and publish work on quantum computing.

The platform is currently in a private beta.

“I think these machines will change forever the course of history” Hurley said.

Hurley said his first startup, Chaotic Moon, did mobile and fun stuff. Accenture bought Chaotic Moon. For his next startup, he wanted to do something good for the world. He launched Honest Dollar because the U.S. has a savings crisis and financial products disenfranchise people, he said. Goldman Sachs bought Honest Dollar.

Now Strangeworks is going to be a catalyst for others, Hurley said. Strangeworks is going to make tools that millions of other people will use to change the world, he said. It is targeting applications in the aerospace, energy, finance and pharmaceuticals industries.

Strangeworks is a team of less than a dozen.

Quantum computing needs collaboration and compounding discovery to thrive, Hurley said. Two guys in a garage in Silicon Valley will not solve quantum computing alone, he said.

At Innotech, Whurley made a call to action on stage, “if you’re working on quantum computing, come collaborate with us”.

Quantum Computing will not replace classical computers just like air travel didn’t replace train travel, Hurley said.

“But just like with rail travel, at some point you run into an ocean and you need something new,” he said.“Quantum computing will open up possibilities in computing we haven’t even begun to imagine.”