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SeQure Quantum's Swiss Tour: "The Best Lesson? “We are making cutting-edge technology”

The CEO of the quantum technology company spent a week immersed in the world's most innovative ecosystem in Switzerland, following SeQure Quantum's recognition with the 'El Mercurio' Startup of the Year 2023 award. During her visit, she met with key figures who witnessed the high level of their 'made in Chile' developments. "The meetings were excellent," says the astrophysicist. 


(El Mercurio Innovación, June 2024) 


It's 10 PM in Zurich, and after a busy day, Paulina Assmann answers the call to review her tour of Switzerland. The astrophysicist and CEO of SeQure Quantum, the company that won the 'El Mercurio' Startup of the Year 2023 award, is reflecting on the journey. This accolade, awarded by the Innovation Body in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in Chile, PwC, and Nestlé, includes a trip to immerse in Switzerland's innovative ecosystem, which has topped the Global Innovation Index (GII) for 13 consecutive years. 


SeQure Quantum, a spin-off from the University of Concepción and the University of Gdansk in Poland, has developed quantum technology designed to generate truly random and unpredictable numbers. This is a crucial innovation in combating cyberattacks and security breaches, with a unique capability to self-certify the randomness of the process and detect potential threats in real-time. 


Their groundbreaking technology earned them the prestigious award last December, and they capitalized on this honor with a week-long tour of key Swiss locations. Accompanied by Guillermo Zedan, SeQure Quantum's CCO, Assmann connected with various global actors and institutions based in Switzerland. 


The Itinerary 


The tour kicked off in Geneva, where they presented their technology at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). They also visited the World Economic Forum and the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA). "We showcased the technology we are developing in Chile, demonstrating our role in this technological transition towards quantum technologies. The Chilean ambassador, Tressler, joined us, which was fantastic," Assmann recounts. 


Next, they traveled to Bern to meet with tech business accelerators. "The greatest lesson? We are creating cutting-edge technology," Assmann states, impressed by the diversity of companies concentrated in one place. "It’s not just quantum, AI, or robotics—there's an entire innovation ecosystem. I can cross the street and find a major tech company that could be very interested in our technology." 


Reflecting on this, she notes, "I almost shed a tear after one meeting because it would be much easier to grow as a company here, technologically, due to the ease of interdisciplinary integration. If we move from Chile, it would be easier here. But we would leave a gap in Chile, unable to hire more people there. Our goal is also to contribute to Chile's economic development." 


In Zurich, Assmann found the city "impressive." They met with cybersecurity and tech companies across various sectors where their team can add value. "We identified new partners, and we will follow up to integrate our solutions into these other markets, which aren't necessarily quantum but can benefit from our technology." 


Meeting level 


Regarding what she will bring back to Chile, Assmann mentions the validation of their value and the potential to expand into other industries. "And we can do it from Chile," she asserts. "These contacts make it easier. Although we were there for just a week, we met many people, scheduled new meetings, and will continue following up. This opportunity is greatly appreciated, and I hope to strengthen the company in Chile by hiring more people and advancing technologically." 


"I'm happy that, in terms of technological development, we are on equal footing," she emphasizes. "It’s always a bit harder due to our location, but there’s an opportunity to turn these disadvantages into advantages, like leading from Latin America." 


Assmann highlights the importance of the award and the opportunity it represents for the Chilean ecosystem, benefiting both emerging startups and more mature ones like theirs. "In the end, it's all about collaboration and networking. This award, organized by the Swiss Embassy, provides excellent contacts. I met the president of the Swiss National Bank and directors of Swiss banks. Learning from them, hearing their perspectives, getting ideas, and showing them our solutions was very rewarding." 


She concludes with a laugh, "The meetings were excellent. They even said, 'Come over here!'" After the official tour, follow-up meetings with the contacts made are planned. Early this week, the plan was to travel to Paris for a meeting with Thales, with whom they have had an alliance since 2023. Assmann would then join President Boric's European tour, invited as part of a delegation of representatives from science, technology, knowledge, and innovation sectors. 


The agenda included activities and visits in cities like Geneva, Bern, and Zurich, where they connected and presented their technology to various organizations, accelerators, and companies. "Interdisciplinarity is much easier here," she highlights.


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