In-Q-Tel is a Private Government Corporation, designated as a private, "non-profit enterprise funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Their mission is to identify and invest in cutting edge information technology (IT) solutions that serve U.S. national interests. In-Q-Tel connects with entrepreneurs, established companies, universities, researchers, and venture capitalists to develop technologies that pay out in superior intelligence capabilities. In-Q-Tel provides a source of capital, technical and operational expertise, a beta/prototyping site with 'power users', a fast track to commercialization, and a potential source of revenue."
The firm is seen as a trend-setter in the information technology industry, with the average dollar invested by In-Q-Tel in 2012 attracting nine dollars of investment from other companies.
In-Q-Tel functions partially in public; however, what products its companies are developing and how they are used is secret or only hinted at.  In-Q-Tel have provided seed capital for many big IT-companies.
Originally named Peleus and known as In-Q-It, In-Q-Tel was founded by Norm Augustine, a former CEO of Lockheed Martin and by Gilman Louie, who was In-Q-Tel's first CEO. In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. Origins of the corporation can be traced to Dr. Ruth A. David, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology in the 1990s and promoted the importance of rapidly advancing information technology for the CIA. 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. In-Q-Tel concentrates on three broad commercial technology areas: software, infrastructure and materials sciences.
In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google, worth over $2.2 million, on November 15, 2005. The shares were a result of Google's acquisition of Keyhole, Inc, the CIA-funded satellite mapping software now known as Google Earth.
In 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. In 2005 it was said to be funded with about $37 million a year from the CIA.
QT is a prolific, global investor and has numerous investments in companies based in the UK, Canada, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
IQT’s offices in London and Sydney, opened in 2018 and 2019, support a partnership between the intelligence and national security communities of the U.S., UK, and Australia to help ensure that they have access to the latest technology to boost capabilities and meet the complex needs of accelerating technological change.
IQT’s Sydney office collaborates with the Office of National Intelligence in support of the partnership between the intelligence and national security communities of the UK, US, and Australia.
Board of Trustees
- Michael M. Crow, Chairman of the Board
- James L. Barksdale
- Peter Barris
- Howard Cox
- Chris Darby
- Anita K. Jones
- A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard
- David McCormick
- Jami Miscik
- Admiral Mike Mullen
- Ted Schlein
- Jeffrey H. Smith
- George Tenet