News in Brief

Venture capital, lame ducks, crime maps and more

transferring funds

New VC fund focuses exclusively on government IT

Startups interested in public-sector IT have long struggled with the fact that most venture capital firms were not particularly interested in investing in such efforts. As Code for America founder and former U.S. deputy CTO Jennifer Pahlka wrote in a recent blog post, there is "no better way to get laughed out of a pitch meeting than to name government as your customer."

Now, however, there's a firm devoted to nothing but government IT.

The San Francisco-based GovTech Fund officially launched Sept. 15. Managing Partner Ron Bouganim announced that the fund had raised $23 million and already invested in four "rapidly growing" firms. Bouganim was involved in launching Code for America's "civic startup accelerator." The GovTech Fund is in some ways an extension of that effort.

"Government technology had not historically been the domain of startups," Bouganim wrote in his announcement. "However, in the past few years, a converging of trends ... has created a ripe environment for venture-backable startups to emerge."

Note: This item was updated on Sept. 18 to clarify Ron Bouganim's affiliation with Code for America.

Senate schedules lame-duck session

It's not yet clear when or how Congress will fund the government for fiscal 2015, but the Senate now knows when it will return to finish the job. CQ Roll Call reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has told his colleagues the post-election lame-duck session will convene Nov. 12.

"Of course, who controls the Senate for the next Congress could very well still be undecided" that soon after Election Day, CQ Roll Call noted, "particularly given the possibility of a run-off election in Louisiana."

Army awards $7.2 billion deal for integrated intelligence support

The Army Intelligence and Security Command has awarded a $7.2 billion contract to establish a comprehensive intelligence services support program, according to a Defense Systems report.

Twenty-one companies won a spot on the contract, which is broken up into an unrestricted competition pool of 11 companies and a small business pool of 10 companies.

Fairfax County builds searchable crime-data mapping app

Counties surrounding Washington, D.C., are stepping up their use of geospatial and visualization tools to make it easier for local police to determine not only what kinds of crime are being committed in their jurisdictions but to pinpoint where it is happening, GCN reports.

Last year, Prince George's County, Md., rolled out a web-based application called StarLight that displays data about crimes that cross the Washington/Maryland border. Following suit, Fairfax County, Va., went live this past spring with a system that integrates search engine technology with a new Police Events application that creates visualizations of search results in map form.

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