Alumni Wins $100,000 Investment Prize at Startupfest

Ashkan Beigi MBA ’19
Ashkan Beigi

Canada’s largest startup event, Startupfest, celebrating its tenth anniversary, was held in-person and via a live broadcast this year. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a series of interactions and contests, hear from industry leaders from around the world and watch ground-breaking innovators compete for cash prizes.

This year, the tech festival announced Schulich alumni, Ashkan Beigi (MBA ’19), as the grand prize winner of $100,000 for his innovative startup, Qoherent.

Qoherent is a quantum computing tech startup that is currently incubated through Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum Stream. “When I started my MBA, I knew I wanted to either go into high-performance computing or advanced wireless communications,” shared Beigi. He believes these two critical pillars are why emerging technologies exist and can change how humans interact with the world.

Beigi started reflecting on how one pillar would affect the other and ideas started taking shape around that. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the CDL Quantum Technical Bootcamp and shared his learnings about the current state of quantum with a former colleague to expand his concept further. They soon started working together to adapt those ideas to recent trends in advanced wireless research, evolving to the concepts they have today.

“My time at Schulich was a critical part of my journey to get to Qoherent,” Ashkan shared. “Many of the projects I did helped me work towards the core ideas, domain, and our planned strategy. Since founding the company I’ve used most of the common core skills such as industry research, accounting, scenario construction, financial planning, and networking. These have shaped my team’s thinking about adapting the entrepreneurial process to our ambitions of tackling an engineering grand challenge. The Schulich global alumni network has been very helpful as well.”