In-Q-Tel is the CIA’s very own venture-capital arm. IQT, as the group is known “identifies, adapts, and delivers innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency and the broader U.S. intelligence community.” What’s particularly interesting is that IQT has managed to become a profitable business.
From a recent New York Times article, we learn that “In 2005, In-Q-Tel sold for $12 million investments that had cost $1.96 million. Since In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999, the firm has reviewed more than 6,300 business plans for everything from identity-recognition software to nano-sized electronic circuits. Many proposals came in through its Web site. In-Q-Tel has invested about $200 million into more than 100 companies, beating traditional V.C. investors to technologies such as the mapping software that’s become Google Earth.”
We love that the U.S. government is using a venturing model to keep intelligence on the cutting-edge. This model has worked well in the private sector – just look at Nokia, Motorola, and Google – so why shouldn’t it work in the public sector? Learn more at IQT.