How do I invest in quantum computing?
October 4, 2013 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I would like to invest money in emergent technologies that may be a little further down the road.

I am somewhat excited about new technologies that are still very much in their infancy, or even at the conceptual stage- things like quantum computing, carbon nanotube chips, recent advances in robotics, etc. I see these things as very much the opposite of the various apps and things that are attracting a lot of VC capital right now, but sound like something out of Charles Mackay.

Recognizing that these would be longer-term investments, what would be the best way to go about putting a few grand towards these sorts of technologies. My interest comes both from the point of view of earning a return, and also supporting the development of things with the potential for real human advancement. Are there funds that specialize in this? How do I avoid the silicon valley garbage that is currently getting a lot of attention?
posted by TheWhiteSkull to Work & Money (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Id Quantique?

They are already on the market with Quantum Key Distribution. It's real technology, not vaporware.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2013

Your last question is tough; if we all knew how to screen the good emerging technologies to invest in with pedestrian paychecks, we'd be busy managing our giant bank accounts or polishing our private jets.

Basically, you're looking for a VC option that doesn't require angel-investor VC cash. You could try Wefunder; think Kickstarter but instead of getting the final product, you're getting a stake in the company. As noted on the WeFunder website, it's tough to invest in startups at the moment in the U.S. because you need to be an accredited investor (i.e. have a lot of cash or assets). That won't be the case soon.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:37 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: It's not so much that I want to perfectly know which technologies will succeed- I'm just more interested in hard tech, rather than the next snapchat or what have you.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:46 PM on October 4, 2013

I have a feeling a lot of this sort of stuff will be behind the "rich people only" wall of this. I can't advise on funds specifically letting you put up money jointly, etc but quite a lot of questions about this sort of investment end with that wall.
posted by emptythought at 2:40 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

emptythought, the Wefunder FAQ claims that your wall comes down in 2014; I haven't followed any of it closely enough to verify if that's the case though.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:41 PM on October 4, 2013

If you can't get in on the quantum computing boat, perhaps you should figure out which firms will see QC as a competing good, and which will see it as complementary.

Competing: Intel, RSA,
Complementary: Google, Amazon (EC2), Facebook, UPS / Wal-Mart (compute heavy logistics)
posted by pwnguin at 10:05 AM on October 5, 2013

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