Creative Destruction Lab is launching a quantum machine learning accelerator in Toronto

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A new accelerator program being run by Canada’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is hoping to find technologists in the quantum machine learning field who want to become founders and give them access to cutting-edge equipment to make their projects into companies. The program will be run out of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and will include investment from venture funds Bloomberg Beta, Data Collective and Spectrum 28.

Operating over the last five years, CDL has been focused on helping researchers with deep expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning to build applications and create companies around those technologies. With that track record, CDL is looking to replicate its success in other universities while also focusing on specific applications and technologies.

The first application of that idea will be the CDL’s Quantum Machine Learning initiative, which aims to develop and support the world’s largest batch of quantum machine learning startups — and along the way maybe convince them to settle in Canada.

Bloomberg Beta, Data Collective and Spectrum 28 will provide funding to founders and teams that participate. Those who graduate the program will receive $80,000 in tranched funding in exchange for 8 percent of equity, which will be divided between those investors.

For the next cohort to be accepted, the CDL is adding a twist: In addition to the usual nine-month objective-setting program, which breaks product and application development down into a series of four eight-week sprints, those who are accepted will have access to and be trained on D-Wave’s 2000Q quantum computer, a cutting-edge piece of quantum computing equipment.

Participants will also receive coaching from a wide range of mentors, including William Tunstall-Pedoe, Barney Pell, Geordie Rose, Sally Daub, Anthony Lacavera, Ted Livingston, James Cham, Matt Ocko, Lyon Wong and Steve Jurvetson, among others.

The CDL is looking to accept up to 40 individuals or teams to its next program, which will begin September in Toronto. In particular, the team is hoping to find applicants with graduate-level degrees in physics, math, statistics or electrical engineering who also have some experience in machine learning.

It’s currently accepting applications for the program through July 24, and is hoping to attract talent from around the world. In addition to the funding from investors, the CDL will offer relocation assistance to international applicants and also provide assistance in obtaining a visa to participate in the program.

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