Meet the Founder: Juha Riippi (CEO), Quanscient.

Share X LinkedIn Facebook

The membership of the Finnish Startup Community consist soon 240 different startups. One of these companies is Quanscient. We interviewed the company’s CEO Juha Riippi, who talked to us about how Quanscient came to be, what he has learned along the way, and what we can expect from the company in the future.

Hi Juha! How exactly did Quanscient get started?

The first idea for starting Quanscient came at Aalto University, where one of the founding members, Valtteri Lahtinen, had a long academic career as a researcher. He felt that he could also have something to offer in the startup world. Valtteri recruited a few acquaintances from the university world, and wanted someone with a business background to be the CEO. At that point, I was actively thinking about becoming an entrepreneur in the quantum sector. I had 16 years of experience in consulting, and through our mutual acquaintance I got involved with Quanscient. We started to consider what the business could be, and the first idea was some cool quantum operation. We held a few workshops in which we reflected on the options, one of which was physics modelling for a quantum computer. Later, we met Alexander, who is our CTO. He has spent 10 years developing technology for physics modelling in his spare time as well as in the course of his academic career. This gave rise to our business idea of developing a hybrid physics simulation platform that combines both cloud and quantum computing. This also allows us to get to generating revenue quicker than with quantum computing alone, which is not yet used to solve problems at the industrial level, which cloud computing can do. We want to offer our customers the benefits of quantum technology in the future.

What exactly does Quanscient do?

It is multi-physics simulation. In practice, it is an engineering tool. That is, when designing complex products, such as in the energy sector, after 3D modelling, multi-physics simulation can be used to create a digital prototype in order to model how the thing works physically. In practice, it represents a strong connection between all different fields of physics that can be used to create an accurate simulation and a digital prototype. Our customers include companies in the fusion energy sector and manufacturers of electric motors, for example.

Can you share a mistake you have made as a startup entrepreneur and how you managed to move past it?

A lot has happened, of course. Had I known at the beginning what I know now, the financial planning of the company could have been carried out better from the very start. We’re in a good situation now, but at the beginning we could have done things differently. We have learned tremendously. Also, when we are looking for international investments, it would be good to know how to operate in that space and what we should and should not highlight when discussing with investors. Focus was also one of the things we should have paid attention to at the beginning. Initially, it was not clear to us what we wanted to focus on, where our first customers would come from and what kinds of customers and use cases we wanted. You can do anything with our software, but “anything” is far too broad a playing field. Preferably, you should have a clear focus from day one. I believe that would have allowed us to start creating revenue faster.

What expectations do you have for the future?

We feel that this sector is really ripe for renewal and significant short-term growth and international expansion. The company also aims to expand globally by establishing subsidiaries and locations outside Finland. Quantum technology is extremely fascinating, and we look forward to its potential, even within a time frame of less than five years. For example, the first prototypes and demos that prove the quantum advantage are something we look forward to eagerly. That is going to be a great moment. We could well be among the first to demonstrate quantum algorithms that generate industrial value.

What are the top three things you have learned about startups?

Focus. From the very beginning, it is important to carefully consider who the first customers will be, how they will use the service and how we can create value for them.

Corporate culture. Consciously building it from day one. We need to think about what kind of company and work environment we want to be. If the values and culture are not consciously designed and built, they will form by themselves and may not meet our wishes.

Asking for help. You should do it boldly and without prejudice. Usually, people want to help and are very helpful.

Learn more about Quanscient here