KETS is 5 years old!
Wow, KETS is 5 years old. The generally accepted wisdom is that 9 in 10 start-ups fail by their third birthday. It’s a safe assumption that quantum start-ups, certainly when we started out, are on the riskier end of that number. But we are still here!
We paid our own way through challenging early projects before we were even funded, went through successful funding rounds, hired first employees, said goodbye to people, heck we have even gone through a pandemic (that was definitely not in the Seed pitch deck!). And more than just still being here, we are flourishing in an area that is key to the security and prosperity of humanity as we enrich the information age to include quantum computers.
I am so proud of all of us at KETS and incredibly thankful to those that have helped us along the way including QETLabs, the Quantum Communications Hub, QTEC, SETSquared Bristol, EngineShed, ScienceCreates, KETS’ Board, consultants, and teammates, and many, many others.
The past 5 years has been a bit of a blur. We started out as Phil, Jake, Caroline, and Chris, before quickly saying hello to Francesco and Rob D in Oct 2018, Lorraine in Jan 2019, followed by Charles and Gaetano in Sept 2019, Richard in Oct 2019, Steve (our Seed Chairperson) in June 2019, Tom and Kerry in Oct 2020, Rob S in April 2021, Habiba in June 2021, and have currently rounded it out with Ed in July 2021.
We moved from our first office in Woodland Road to a wonderful space in 1 Cathedral Square that houses the Quantum Technology Innovation Centre (QTIC). Again, it’s a bit weird to think how sad I was to leave that dark, damp first office – but I was!
We have flown our quantum-safe technology on UAVs (QDOS Light), continued to develop it into solutions to trial in testbeds and develop applications with end-users (AQuaSeC), partnered with post-quantum cryptography providers (Thales Cyber@StationF and CryptoNext), begun analysing satellite QKD service offerings (ViSatQT), are working with partners towards assuring the security of our devices (AQRNGs), preparing to join quantum networks across the Atlantic (BaSQuaNa), and helping to build Paris’ first quantum network (ParisQCI).
We’ve won awards (TEAC, UK’s Most Innovative Small Cyber Security Company at InfoSec Europe 2018) and completed a number of key accelerators (QTEC, Seraphim Space Camp, Thales Cyber@StationF , and Creative Destruction Labs).
Stay tuned in future for a prequel article (if Star Wars can do it, why can’t we?) detailing some of the lead up to KETS, an expanded version of this article (if George Lucas can monkey with the original Star Wars trilogy after the fact, why can’t we?). And even a spin-off article on how some of us helped get QTEC going (if Star Wars can do it… you get the picture!).
Throughout all the projects we have completed, the ones we are currently working on, and the one’s yet to come – the defining feature has always been KETS’ great team. Creating a start-up that is meeting a key 21st century challenge of securing the world’s key information while being a place where one can thrive and grow is at the heart of KETS. We were extremely excited to announce our recent fundraise in June and will be adding to KETS’ great team in the coming years. And it will only be a few short years before we are celebrating KETS 10th birthday!