As part of its burgeoning push to purchase emerging technology from Silicon Valley startups, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $200,000 to a Santa Clara-based company called Pulzze Systems, Inc. for Internet of Things (IoT) security systems development. The award took less than two weeks and is the first of its kind coming out of the Silicon Valley DHS office. DHS aims to develop a foothold in Silicon Valley that will allow it to “cultivate a pipeline for non-traditional partners, folks who have typically never done business with the government, to develop solutions for our toughest homeland security challenges.” See https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/blog/2015/10/14/silicon-valley-office. The office wants to “bridge the gap between the department and the creative thinkers in Silicon Valley,” according to a statement by Reginald Brothers, DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology. This initial award and its procedural efficiency “proves DHS can keep pace with the innovation community and is moving in the right direction to become a viable partner,” Brothers added.

Pulzze responded to the first call under the agency’s Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation (dedicated to protection technology for IoT security) and received the award as part of DHS’ deliberate effort to enhance and improve the government’s access to cutting-edge private sector technology and tech talent. DHS has developed a special program designed to utilize novel procurement authorities in helping startups do business with the federal government by implementing faster and more streamlined methods without all the traditional requirements of procurement contracts. The award process was remarkably rapid in this case. DHS issued the solicitation in December with Pulzze delivering its pitch on Feb. 1 and earning the award on Feb. 12, thereby “demonstrating [DHS’] ability to adapt to new ways of doing business,” according to the managing director of the Silicon Valley office for DHS’ Science & Technology Directorate. The Pulzze award is one of a number of DHS programs targeting early-stage companies for support where a startup otherwise could not afford to utilize traditional government contracting methods.