⚛️ Chicago’s $20B Quantum Campus

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58th Edition

📍 This Week’s Lineup:

⚛️ Chicago’s $20B Quantum Campus

🧀 New AI Facility in Wisconsin

📊 Chart of the Week

📆 Events Around the City

🔙 Previous Editions of the Driver’s Seat

Highlights from Last Week:

We began the week co-hosting a founder dinner with Brex on Monday 👇

We then hosted our monthly AI Tinkerers Chicago meetup at the office, starting it off with a fireside chat featuring John Agan, who is the Head of Product at Replit 👇

We also welcomed a new partner to our team at Drive. Erandi was previously the co-founder of Forge Biologics, a company we incubated out of our Columbus office, and 4 years later was acquired for $620M 👇

⚛️ Chicago’s $20B Quantum Campus

Big news coming out of the quantum world this week in Chicago.

Let’s dive in:

Aspirations for a Quantum Campus

  • The Illinois government is actively working to establish a $20B, 150-acre quantum computing campus in Chicago, potentially making it the largest technology project in state history.

  • The initiative is considered a modern-day Manhattan Project, aiming to position Illinois as a quantum computing leader.

  • The proposed campus could create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 500 industry jobs.

How We Make it Happen

  • PsiQuantum, a key player in the project, is currently deciding between two sites: the former U.S. Steel plant on the South Side and the former Texaco refinery in Lockport.

  • The project includes significant infrastructure plans like a cryogenic facility essential for quantum computing, expected to cost between $300m to $500m.

  • This facility would not only support PsiQuantum but also provide resources to other researchers and companies in the quantum computing field.

Why Chicago

  • Our state is already investing significant dollars and resources towards a quantum future. While the industry is still early, Illinois wants to be in the best position to capitalize on the inevitable future.

  • Governor Pritzker’s administration previously allocated $200m from Illinois’s capital budget to quantum initiatives, aiding in securing an additional $275m in federal funding for local research projects.

  • Now seeking an additional $500m from the state legislature, Illinois aims to become a recognized quantum hub, potentially attracting another $70m in funding.

🧀 New AI Facility in Wisconsin

Congratulations to our neighbors in Wisconsin for an exciting announcement in the AI world:

Microsoft's Investment

  • Microsoft will invest $3.3B to build an AI data center at the former Foxconn site in Racine, Wisconsin.

  • The site was previously intended for a $10B Foxconn mega-project.

  • The construction of this new facility is expected to create 2,300 union jobs and 2,000 permanent roles.

Why This Matters

  • During a trip to Wisconsin, President Joe Biden highlighted this initiative as part of Microsoft's broader effort to enhance its national cloud AI infrastructure.

  • The investment aligns with larger national goals, including significant private sector investments in clean energy and manufacturing and support for 51,000 infrastructure projects across the country.

  • This move benefits the entire Midwest region.

📊 Chart of the Week

The chart below shows the annual income a household needs to afford a typical home in various major US cities.

In 2020, a household in Chicago needed to earn $65,041 to afford a typical home. By 2024, this required income has increased to $104,757, demonstrating significant growth over four years.

Chicago’s rising home affordability rate is still lower than the national average and other major metros.

🗺️ Events Around The City

Monday Morning Run Club

  • Hosted by DripCo

  • Monday

  • RSVP

Empowering Startups through Outsourced Expertise

  • Hosted by TriNet

  • Wednesday

  • RSVP

Roam's "The Office of Tomorrow" Launch Event in Chicago

  • Hosted by Roam

  • Wednesday

  • RSVP

Alumni New Venture Challenge

  • Hosted by UChicago

  • Thursday

  • RSVP

iVenture’s Chicago Demo Day

  • Hosted by UIUC 

  • Thursday

  • RSVP

🗞 Latest Editions:

👋 See you next week!

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