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Privately held not-for-profit corporation
Genre Technology research, Venture capital
Founded September 29, 1999 (1999-09-29)
Founder Norm Augustine[1]
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia[2]
Key people
Christopher Darby, CEO[3]
Services Investment in information technology supporting U.S. intelligence capability

In-Q-Tel of Arlington, Virginia, United States is a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.[4]


  • History 1
  • Governance 2
  • Investments 3
    • Software 3.1
    • Material science 3.2
    • Infrastructure 3.3
  • Other related personnel 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Originally named Peleus and known as In-Q-It, In-Q-Tel was launched in 1999 under the direction of Gilman Louie.[4] In-Q-Tel’s mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. Originally associated with the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology, In-Q-Tel now engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and venture capitalists to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA, DIA, NGA, and the wider intelligence community.[5] In-Q-Tel concentrates on three broad commercial technology areas: software, infrastructure and materials sciences.

Former CIA director George Tenet says,

We [the CIA] decided to use our limited dollars to leverage technology developed elsewhere. In 1999 we chartered ... In-Q-Tel. ... While we pay the bills, In-Q-Tel is independent of CIA. CIA identifies pressing problems, and In-Q-Tel provides the technology to address them. The In-Q-Tel alliance has put the Agency back at the leading edge of technology ... This ... collaboration ... enabled CIA to take advantage of the technology that Las Vegas uses to identify corrupt card players and apply it to link analysis for terrorists [cf. the parallel data-mining effort by the SOCOM-DIA operation Able Danger ], and to adapt the technology that online booksellers use and convert it to scour millions of pages of documents looking for unexpected results.[6]

In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google, worth over $2.2 million, on November 15, 2005.[7] The stocks were a result of Google’s acquisition of Keyhole, the CIA funded satellite mapping software now known as Google Earth.

As of August 2006, In-Q-Tel had reviewed more than 5,800 business plans, invested some $150 million in more than 90 companies, and delivered more than 130 technology solutions to the intelligence community.[4][8] In 2005 it was said to be funded with about $37 million a year from the CIA.[9]

Former board members include Norman Augustine, William Perry, Anita K. Jones and Gilman Louie.


In-Q-Tel is a Virginia-registered corporation, legally independent of the CIA or any other government agency. The corporation is bound by its Charter agreement and annual contract with the IARPA and other models in that its employees can profit from its investments. According to public records, In-Q-Tel's current principals include:


Many companies listed on In-Q-Tel's investment website page[10] are secret. In-Q-Tel functions partially in public; however, what products it has and how they are used is strictly secret.[9] According to the Washington Post, "virtually any U.S. entrepreneur, inventor or research scientist working on ways to analyze data has probably received a phone call from In-Q-Tel or at least been Googled by its staff of technology-watchers."[9]


  • Socrata – Open Data Solutions for Government Innovation

Material science



Sensor networks
  • ThingMagic – RFID
  • Dust Networks – low-power wireless mesh networking systems
  • Ember Corporation – ZigBee – wireless semiconductor
  • Gainspan – low power Wi-Fi
  • Tendril Networks – software for wireless sensor and control networks
  • TenXsys – telemetry systems for remote monitoring, NASA
  • StreamBase – real-time data in government/military, RFID/sensor networks
  • Thetus – software for remote sensing instruments
  • Soflinx defender – a Wireless Sensor Network for fences
  • PlateScan – automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) sensor network
Data centers
Security testing

Other related personnel

Numerous noteworthy business and intelligence community professionals have been involved with In-Q-Tel at various times, including the following:


  1. ^ A new partnership between the CIA and the private sector
  2. ^ Contact Us
  3. ^ List of the Board of Trustees
  4. ^ a b c "In-Q-Tel, Inc. Company Information".  
  5. ^ "Technology Focus". In-Q-Tel. Retrieved 14 August 2014. IQT is focused on new and emerging commercial technologies that have the potential to give the CIA and broader U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) mission-advantage today and in the future. As a strategic partner, we work with the IC... 
  6. ^ George Tenet (1997), At The Center Of The Storm: My Years at the CIA, Harper Press, p. 26 
  7. ^ "CIA sells Google shares". November 15, 2005. 
  8. ^ In-Q-Tel website: Investing in our National Security. Obtained August 2006.
  9. ^ a b c n-Q-Tel, CIA's Venture Arm, Invests in Secrets
  10. ^ In-Q-Tel website. In-Q-Tel — Portfolio.
  11. ^ Dan Geer leaves Verdasys for In-Q-Tel, by Ryan Naraine, ZDNet, May 28, 2008. Accessed 2008-07-09.

External links

  • Official website
    • Fact sheet from the company's website
  • White Paper on the In-Q-Tel concept from the CIA's website
  • In-Q-Tel from Federal Computer Week
  • In-Q-Tel from
  • The Report of the Independent Panel on the CIA In-Q-Tel Venture from Business Executives for National Security (
  • Press releases
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