Bridging the Gap Between Silicon Valley and the Capital Beltway: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Government's Venture Capital and Startup Engagements in Intelligence and Defense
MetadataShow full item record
The speed with which technological innovation occurs in the commercial sector has outpaced the U.S. government’s in-house innovation capabilities in the past few decades. In order to safeguard national security, the United States is largely reliant on access to superior information and defense technology, and it cannot afford to fall behind in scientific advancements. Thus, the federal government has sought out partnerships with the startup community in order to match the agility of commercial technology innovation. By 1999, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) leadership recognized that the Agency could not compete in innovation with the same speed as others in the commercial marketplace. This led to the creation of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s own venture capital arm. Other government agencies realized the need to identify areas of strategic alignment between startup technology and national security requirements and have followed in the CIA’s footsteps. It is important to examine these innovative acquisition strategies as they are still developing but will without a doubt continue to burgeon as the U.S. engages in the 21st century technological race. This thesis extracts and analyzes lessons learned and best practices from federal intelligence- and defense-related investment vehicles.