Elevate Quantum Poised to Accelerate Advanced Technologies in Colorado

When I helped launch TechHubNow! with Brooks Johnson and JB Holston in 2023, our goal was to pursue an EDA Regional Innovation Hub (Tech Hub) grant in collaboration with the Colorado Governor’s Office/OEDIT. We had support from Gary Community Ventures, ZomaLAB, Thiry-OLeary Foundation, and Brad Feld. I was optimistic that Colorado had created the right conditions—through policy, programs, and investments in “Industries of the Future” and Workforce—to make a compelling case for an EDA designation. Ultimately, this would enable Colorado to compete for federal funding for advanced technology development to support national and economic security. 

OEDIT and TechHubNow! co-led a series of information sessions on the what/why/how of the Tech Hub program. As we worked to raise awareness about the opportunity, seven teams came forward to pursue the Tech Hub grant. We convened multiple times to review and pressure test their hypotheses around specific advanced technology areas. An expert panel of investors, academics, and industry leaders reviewed and scored the presentations against the EDA’s grant rubric. 

Advanced Energy (led by Lu Cordova) and Elevate Quantum (Led by Corban Tillmann-Dick) advanced from that effort as they best leveraged Colorado’s strengths and aligned with national and economic security goals outlned in the EDA grant opportunity.

In October, four hundred applications were submitted across the U.S., two from Colorado. Elevate Quantum, co-founded by Corban Tillemann-Dick and Zachary Yerushalmi—and developed with support from the Colorado Forum Fund, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and the Walton Family Foundation’s CFA program—was one of 31 regions selected for a designation and one of two quantum designees across the U.S.

Elevate Quantum’s EDA Tech Hub designation (announced on October 23, 2023) allowed us to pursue the first tranche of grant capital, $40-70M (The Tech Hub program is authorized at $1B over ten years). On February 28th, we submitted the phase two application.

Since applying, we’ve been raising awareness of Elevate Quantum across the state and nationally. From convening partners on the Hill to showcase our workforce strategy, to collaborating with consortium partners (industry, academia, workforce entities) and national labs (Sandia Labs and Los Alamos) in New Mexico, to working with military partners in Colorado Springs to accelerate the commercialization of quantum applications in national security, our collaborations with our consortium partners have been vast and deep.

We collaborated with Governor Polis and the Colorado legislature to pass the Quantum Bill (SB 24-1325), which provides $74M in tax credits for capital infrastructure and a loan guarantee program for scale-up entrepreneurs. Learn more in the press release.

The EDA will announce the Tech Hub awards in summer 2024. We remain optimistic that Elevate Quantum will receive strong consideration for an EDA award. 

The TechHubNow! team—JB Holston, Brooks Johnson, and I—are immensely proud of our progress. We’ve learned a lot about our state’s strengths in advanced technologies and workforce and have been fortunate to work closely with the Governor, OEDIT, and our federal delegation. We are poised to deliver an outsized impact if awarded EDA funding. Brooks and I now serve on the Elevate Quantum board and continue to invest time in supporting Elevate Quantum across various initiatives.