Dcode’s mission is to connect the government with new technology. Here, they share 4 stories of innovation and its applications to government agencies
When Dcode started three years ago, they had a clear mission in mind. They recognized that there was a huge gap between government and emergent technologies, and they wanted to close that gap. They knew, however, that it wouldn’t be easy to get into this space. “Even when a government agency recognizes a need and has an interest in taking on something new, the barriers are still high,” explains Nate Ashton, Director of Accelerator Programs at Dcode. Despite the challenges, Dcode knew that bridging that gap would ease the transition and assist technology companies with navigating the security, contractual, and cultural complexities within the U.S. Federal Government.
Dcode is a technology accelerator that helps emerging technologies break down barriers and go to market quickly within the federal government. Dcode runs a three-month-long accelerator program that helps emerging tech companies “break the code” of launching quickly within government entities. Companies selected for the accelerator programs receive strategic support and exposure in all business areas critical to their success.
Dcode’s most recent 2019 AI and Advanced Analytics cohort brought together private sector tech leaders with over $500 million in venture funding. These companies utilize tech-spanning analytics platforms, data wrangling, AI at the edge, and developer tools, and have the potential to drastically change the way the government operates by helping government agencies better manage, understand, and leverage all of their data.
Dcode ran five accelerators last year and, in 2019, they will run six accelerators focused on several topics such as Security, Health IT, and Space 2.0.
Dcode innovates across US federal agencies
Through Dcode’s accelerator program, companies are bringing newer technologies to federal agencies to provide more efficient adoption of modern software and drive increased capabilities to the agency technology stack. In many cases, these technologies are deployed on Microsoft Azure and leverage the service architecture of the Microsoft cloud. Below are four examples of Dcode companies that run on Microsoft platforms and are working to provide new capabilities to federal agencies:
Saviynt, a Dcode alumni company, is helping a number of government agencies undergo a digital transformation. Saviynt is the first identity governance and cloud security platform management company to receive FEDRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO). Saviynt’s one-click integration with Azure AD provides visibility to high privilege users, end users, and their access to various cloud and enterprise applications.
Stack Overflow is the world’s leading question-and-answer platform. Software engineers go to Stack Overflow when they have coding questions—it’s “kind of the industry standard for Q&A,” explains Ashton. Microsoft uses Stack Overflow documentation for developers to help ensure all its massive teams are collaborating internally. In the same way, it can help government projects run more smoothly by enabling easier onboarding and offboarding, and more reliable and successful code. The software runs on Microsoft Azure and utilizes machine learning to update itself by drawing from the latest data. Stack Overflow hopes to get this Azure version into the government space as soon as possible.
Trifacta is the industry standard data management tool. Its platform includes a machine learning component that enables clients to significantly speed up their data wrangling process. Instead of moving data around manually, Trifacta’s platform makes suggestions and corrects automatically. As agencies start to move to modern infrastructures, Dcode sees the need for Trifacta’s technology within government research, defense, and auditing. Trifacta helps the government visualize data and effectively conduct research without understanding all data in possession. Trifacta supports deployment through the Azure marketplace and integrates with a variety of Azure services.
StreamSets software delivers performance management for data flows that feed the next generation of big-data applications. Its mission is to bring operational excellence to the management of data in motion, so that data continually arrives on time and with quality, empowering, business-critical analysis and decision making. StreamSets, as a part of the Microsoft Partner Network and integrated with Microsoft Azure Data Lake Store, can provide government customers drag-and-drop access for enabling the multi-cloud reality that is shaping digital transformation efforts.
Dcode: A bridge that facilitates in both directions
Dcode sees a bright future for its alumni companies working with Microsoft. It’s a way to bring exciting technology to the government and create an ecosystem in which government agencies can leverage new Azure platforms and Dcode’s companies can gain access to the government’s contract vehicle. In order for a government agency to order services from a company, that company has to be part of the contract vehicle—if not, there can be no contractual relationship. There would be a barrier to entry without Microsoft’s expertise.
Dcode is bridging the gap between technology entrepreneurs and government, but they’re also helping government agencies reach out to them to ask for what they need. “Agencies reach out to us often,” explains Ashton. Dcode lets agencies know that they need a solid foundation before innovation can begin. “It starts with the cloud,” Ashton continues. To get started with any major innovation, you have to have an infrastructure in place first—that’s where Microsoft Azure comes in. Once that goes up, Dcode can assess any wants an agency has, address their needs, and start a conversation with the right technology to accelerate their digital transformation.
“Partnering with Dcode enables Microsoft to better engage with the startup community focused on solutions applicable to government,” says Alban de Bergevin, Microsoft’s Federal Sales Director Data and AI. “This means that the U.S. Federal Government gets access to innovative solutions on a world-leading cloud platform.”
Through this partnership, Microsoft continues to expand its footprint in the global public sector and Dcode companies gain the knowledge and opportunity to partner with a trusted government platform. Dcode and its alumni companies are bringing new technologies to the table that help government agencies innovate for the future.