The realm of quantum computing holds incredible promise, offering computational speeds that vastly outpace conventional computers due to the remarkable properties of quantum physics. However, the progress of quantum computers has been marred by a significant challenge—error-proneness. Kosuke Mitarai, an assistant professor at Osaka University’s graduate engineering school, has set his sights on conquering this challenge to unleash the true potential of quantum computing.
Mitarai, recognized for his groundbreaking work, has earned a place on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in the Enterprise Technology category. In 2018, while pursuing his Ph.D. in engineering, he co-founded QunaSys, a quantum computing software company. The mission of QunaSys is to develop software solutions that enable quantum machines to solve complex problems in the fields of physics and chemistry.
Mitarai highlights that quantum computers have the potential to unravel intricate problems, such as understanding the precise mechanisms by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. This knowledge could pave the way for efficient artificial photosynthesis, offering a revolutionary approach to converting carbon dioxide into fuel. QunaSys, in pursuit of this vision, has successfully secured $12.4 million (¥1.6 billion) in funding, including investments from the renowned Japanese supercomputer manufacturer Fujitsu.
“In five to ten years, assuming that quantum computers progress to real-world use, our goal would be to become the de facto standard software and library for everyone using them,” says Mitarai, outlining the ambitious aspirations of QunaSys.
Pioneering Quantum Machine Learning
Kosuke Mitarai is no stranger to innovation. He achieved a significant milestone by introducing the world’s first quantum machine learning algorithm tailored for “Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum Computers” (NISQs). The primary objective of this algorithm is to mitigate processing errors inherent in quantum computers, a critical challenge that hinders their widespread adoption.
This pioneering research, initiated in 2018, has garnered widespread recognition, with nearly 550 citations in his field. Mitarai’s algorithm is in the top 1% of cited research contributions, a testament to its significance. Moreover, prominent players in the quantum computing domain, including Google’s quantum machine learning library, have adopted and implemented this algorithm.
Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia: Enterprise Technology
The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list features several enterprising individuals who recognize the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and leverage it to enhance various aspects of business and security.
Ryosuke Takahashi, founder of Acompany, stands out for his innovative approach to data processing. His startup specializes in systems that enable data processing while data remains encrypted. Acompany is only the second company in Japan to offer such technology, positioning it at the forefront of data security and privacy. Since its inception in 2018, Acompany has secured $2.4 million (￥300 million) in funding, with support from ANRI and DG Daiwa Ventures.
In Japan, Hiroki Imabayashi leads Eaglys, a company dedicated to ensuring data security through advanced encryption technologies. This enables clients to leverage AI for data analysis while maintaining confidentiality and complying with privacy regulations. Founded during Imabayashi’s graduate studies at Waseda University, Eaglys has raised approximately $9 million (1 billion yen) to date, receiving investments from SBI Investment and Hakuhodo DY Holdings, among others.
Singapore-based Zheng Wei Quah, Shaun John Cheetham, Edmund Chew, and Derrick Lee co-founded Accredify in 2019. Accredify offers a platform for the issuance and verification of tamper-proof, traceable digital documents for both organizations and individuals. The company has processed over 11 million verifications for 1.5 million issued documents to date. Additionally, Accredify played a crucial role in co-creating Singapore’s national COVID-19 test standard, HealthCerts, in collaboration with Singapore’s Ministry of Health and other partners. The company reported earnings of $500,000 last year and anticipates quadrupling that figure this year.
Rick Firnando, a 29-year-old entrepreneur, embarked on establishing Verihubs, an AI-based authentication and fraud prevention platform in Indonesia. Verihubs has provided its services to more than 100 clients across banking, fintech, and e-commerce sectors, including notable names like Indonesia’s Bank Central Asia, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, e-commerce platform Bukalapak, and payments platform Payfazz. The company claims to have authenticated over 36 million users in the past year, with its revenue increasing a staggering 50-fold during the same period. Rick Firnando has secured $2.8 million in funding from prominent backers, including Y Combinator, Insignia Venture Partners, MDI, and BCA’s investment arm, CCV.
These visionary entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of AI and quantum computing to propel industries forward, enhance security, and drive innovation. Their inclusion in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia highlights their remarkable contributions to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and enterprise.