Infragistics launching $50M Innovation Fund and Lab to encourage internal inventors

Infragistics, a Cranbury-based software company, is launching a $50 million Innovation Fund and Lab, enabling internal inventors to create innovations beyond its core user experience and interface products, regardless of immediate revenue potential.

Founder and CEO Dean Guida said Tobias Komischke, the company’s former head of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, will lead the new unit.

“We have thrived through major economic recessions, tech bubbles and bursts by taking a hands-on, entrepreneurial approach to growing Infragistics,” Guida said in a prepared statement. “Our model is made possible through the nurturing of internal inventors and entrepreneurs who keep our spirit of innovation alive. I know firsthand that an entrepreneur’s success is depending on his or her ability to dream, invent and contribute in very tangible ways. Infragistics’ new Innovation Fund and Lab mark our commitment to letting our team do exactly that.”

The company said the new lab is a formalization of the delineation between its revenue-generating products and its pre-market growth products, following years of informal funding of innovation projects.

Projects from the lab that make it past internal and external reviews will be provided with experimental capital to move the innovation from the concept and prototyping stage all the way to market.

“By giving our team the space and freedom it needs to create, and generating early feedback from our established industry connections, we are certain that we’ll bring the right tools to market,” Komischke said in a statement. “We know that Innovation Labs fail when they don’t strike the perfect balance of freedom and structure, making my mandate twofold: create freedom by eliminating our team’s urgency to generate revenue, while introducing structure through a well-defined fail-fast-and-learn-quickly approach. The sooner we can begin investing vigorously in the projects that prove promising.”

The company said Komischke has developed an Innovation Fellowship with Rutgers University as part of his work with the lab.

The lab is located at the company’s 74,000-square-foot headquarters, and is part of its $22 million investment in converting a vacant warehouse space into an open work environment.