Atalie Zimmer

WMU TechNext student’s trip to Silicon Valley would not be possible without our sponsor, George Hoyem. George is a WMU grad, who pours his heart and soul into creating an experiential learning opportunity like no other. George works at a Venture Capitalist firm, In-Q-Tel, which is funded through government agencies like the CIA, DHS, FBI, etc. In-Q-Tel operates by a 3 step approach. They first find potential companies, then research their capabilities and potential benefits, and they build relationships. George leveraged his extensive network (I swear he knows everything about every startup in the Valley) to craft our Silicon Valley tour.

It is vital for In-Q-Tel to be on the leading edge of providing tech solutions to our government agencies. For example, a company called Elemental recently discovered a huge supply chain breach. Chinese spies hacked the circuit board supply chain to create a backdoor into American companies. They inserted tiny microchips into the motherboards that were then assembled into American technologies. This tiny tainted microchip created a backdoor that has the potential for hackers to break into a database which otherwise be secure. Scary stuff, right? Fortunately, for the national security of United States In-Q-Tel had already partnered with Elemental. The VC investments that IQT investors, like George make are keeping our country safe.

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