Chad Rigetti, founder of Rigetti Quantum Computing (S14), at Startup School 2016.

When Chad participated in YC he’d yet to build a qubit – the fundamental building block of a quantum computer – and didn’t know how he was going to do it. Two years later he and a team of 35 people have built a five qubit quantum computer in Berkeley.

In his talk he outlines the current state of supercomputing and the possible uses for quantum computers in chemistry and machine learning. He differentiates hard tech companies from tech companies–-hard tech companies have to deal with fundamental questions of possibility. And highlights how tech companies move into hard tech to create leverage and defensibility.

Chad closed with an example of a small group of determined people creating tremendous leverage through hard tech.