Plan II Thesis on CIA’s In-Q-Tel and Government Technology Innovation

News | May 4, 2018

UT-Austin Plan II and Finance major Macy Huang presented her senior thesis “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” at the Strauss Center on May 4, 2018.

Ms. Huang briefed her research, findings, and recommendations to ISP Director Steve Slick as thesis supervisor and the Cockerel School’s Professor of Innovation Robert Metcalfe who served as second reader for the thesis. The thesis topic was selected to take advantage of Ms. Huang’s academic interests in corporate finance and national security, the latter informed by her participation in the ISP’s Spring Semester 2017 Plan II seminar on “Intelligence in American Society.” This thesis examines CIA’s In-Q-Tel and more recent efforts by U.S. national security agencies to capitalize on rapid technological innovation taking place in the private sector. In researching the topic, Ms. Huang had the opportunity to interview In-Q-Tel’s founder, two former CIA directors, the Director of the NGA, and other senior intelligence officials who were involved in launching In-Q-Tel and other government-sponsored venture capital entities.

The text of Ms. Huang’s thesis is available here