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Creative Destruction Lab Teams Up with Rigetti Computing to Foster Quantum Machine Learning Startup Ecosystem.

August 25, 2017

Toronto – The Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management is pleased to announce a partnership between its Quantum Machine Learning Program and Rigetti Computing, a full-stack quantum computing company, to support startups focused on developing quantum machine learning software.

The Program, announced earlier this year and launching this September, builds on the CDL’s track record of success in accelerating machine learning startups.

This partnership furthers the CDL’s objective of laying the foundation for high-growth software companies that leverage quantum machine learning. Quantum computing may soon provide advantages over classical computing in terms of faster optimization, efficient sampling, and reduction in computational complexity, all of which are relevant to machine learning algorithms. 

The Rigetti partnership will be the CDL’s first collaboration with a general-purpose gate-based quantum computing company and will give its quantum machine learning startups access to Rigetti’s cloud-connected systems.

“We announced the Quantum Machine Learning Program earlier this year with founding technology partner D-Wave Systems, and since then, the interest from applicants, investors, and technology partners has exceeded our expectations,” said Daniel Mulet, Associate Director of Quantum Machine Learning, CDL. “The partnership with Rigetti expands the options of quantum systems available for algorithm development for the companies in our program.”

Rigetti will provide hands-on training in its Forest programming environment, including the quantum/classical instruction set Quil, hybrid programming models, and algorithm libraries. Rigetti’s cloud-connected superconducting quantum processors and its Quantum Virtual Machine will be available to the CDL startups for the duration of the program. (Read Rigetti’s blog post about the partnership.)

“Quantum machine learning will power some of the most impactful and exciting near-term applications of quantum computing. The startups at the CDL are at the leading edge of this technology and will get early access to Rigetti's general-purpose quantum hardware and to Forest, one of the most sophisticated quantum programming environments in the world,” said Madhav Thattai, Chief Strategy Officer, Rigetti. “We’re looking forward to working with these pioneering individuals and teams to help create and accelerate the quantum application ecosystem.”

“Both Rigetti and the CDL share a common belief that near-term applications of quantum computing will be useful for machine learning applications, so we are delighted that they are investing in building the ecosystem with us,” said Rachel Harris, Director of the CDL. "Rigetti’s rate of progress and focus on applications make them a key partner for us in this effort.”

Over the summer, applications were submitted from around the world to be part of the CDL's first Quantum Machine Learning cohort. Forty individuals and/or teams were selected for the inaugural year-long program, which begins September 5th, 2017 with an intensive introductory bootcamp led by Dr. Peter Wittek, author of the first textbook on quantum machine learning.

Founders will then go through the CDL's nine-month objective-setting program, coached by carefully selected entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists, all of whom have track records of success in commercial applications of machine learning. Participating startups are eligible for $80,000 in pre-seed investment through a partnership with Bloomberg Beta, Data Collective, and Spectrum 28. Participants will also benefit from business development and implementation support from MBA students at the Rotman School of Management.

More information is available at

The Creative Destruction Lab is a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based ventures. It employs a unique, objectives-focused coaching process to help founders commercialize advances in science and technology. Graduates include Thalmic Labs (Waterloo), Atomwise (San Francisco), Deep Genomics (Toronto), Nymi (Toronto), Automat (Montreal), Kyndi (Palo Alto), and Heuritech (Paris). The Creative Destruction Lab was founded in 2012 at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and now has additional programs in Vancouver (University of British Columbia), Calgary (University of Calgary), Montreal (University of Montreal), and Halifax (Dalhousie University).

Rigetti Computing is a full-stack quantum computing company. The company designs and manufactures quantum processors and builds software to integrate its systems with cloud infrastructure. Rigetti's Forest is the world's first full-stack programming and execution environment for quantum/classical computing. Currently in public beta, Forest can be used to develop and run quantum applications over the cloud. Rigetti Computing was recently recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the world's 50 Smartest Companies. Rigetti Computing was founded in 2013 and is based in Berkeley, Calif., with a fabrication facility in Fremont, Calif.


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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