Software Maker Formalizes Investment in Invention with the Introduction of New Innovation Lab; Prioritizes Advancements in Low-Code, Business Intelligence and Performance-Driven Teams
Infragistics, the software company responsible for the user experience and interface (UX/UI) solutions behind the world’s largest enterprise applications, today announces the launch of its $50M Innovation Fund and Lab. The fund will create freedom for internal inventors to experiment with innovations beyond the company’s core UI/UX products, without an immediate need to generate revenue. The fund’s Innovation Lab arm was introduced by Infragistics founder and CEO Dean Guida, and will be led by Tobias Komischke, PhD, an expert in the field of Usability Engineering and head of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning at Infragistics.
The new fund is part of Infragistics’ larger commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation and cultivating the same entrepreneurial spirit responsible for its longevity in the technology arena. After years of funding innovation products informally, the fund introduces a formal delineation between Infragistics’ revenue-generating products and its pre-market growth products.
All Infragistics employees are encouraged to pitch ideas that leverage their collective expertise in artificial intelligence, analytics and digital product design. Projects can make use of any programming frameworks and require the most advanced technologies available, including data science and machine learning (DSML), AI-informed design and collaboration work streams.
Under Komischke’s guidance, the Innovation Lab team has developed a proprietary and structured innovation process to prototype, test and thoroughly assess new ideas for market viability. Projects that make it past internal and external reviews will be provided experimental capital to take the innovation from concept and prototype all the way to market.
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The decision to formalize the Fund and introduce a dedicated lab comes as Infragistics embarks on its fourth decade in business. Founder Dean Guida bootstrapped Infragistics 31 years ago and has since grown it to a multi-million dollar company without accepting outside funding. The company now has 250 employees and offices in the U.S., Japan, Uruguay, Bulgaria, UK and India. Its client roster boasts 100% of the S&P 500, including Intuit, Exxon and Morgan Stanley, and its enterprise-ready UX and UI toolkits are in use by more than two million developers worldwide.
The Innovation Lab is located in the company’s 74,000 square-foot New Jersey headquarters. The Lab is part of Infragistics’ $22M investment in converting a vacant, two-story warehouse into an open work environment.
“We have thrived through major economic recessions, tech bubbles and bursts by taking a hands-on, entrepreneurial approach to growing Infragistics,” said Guida. “Our model is made possible through the nurturing of internal inventors and entrepreneurs who keep our spirit of innovation alive. I know first-hand that an entrepreneur’s success is dependent 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 Innovation Lab leadership team is currently responsible for two new in-market products, Indigo.Design and Reveal, and one pre-market product, Slingshot, which will be released in Q4 of 2021.
Indigo.Design is a complete design-to-code system that has allowed Infragistics to move outside of the enterprise and work directly with UX designers across industries and company sizes. Through Indigo, Infragistics was one of the first companies to enter the emerging low-code space in 2018. The platform generates production-ready code for Angular, with React, Web Components and Blazor coming soon. Infragistics UX Principal George Abraham leads the Innovation Lab’s Indigo.Design team.
Reveal is an analytics and data visualization software platform that can take the world’s most complex data sets and transform them into actionable insights. Organizations that thrive on precision and continuous intelligence, such as the Japanese Railway Group and Baker Hughes, now rely on Reveal to organize, understand and act on their business intelligence. Seventeen-year Infragistics veteran and SVP of Developer Tools, Jason Beres, leads the Innovation Lab’s Reveal team.
Soon-to-launch Slingshot is a digital workplace that boosts team results, no matter where they are, by giving them the ability to make better, quicker decisions with data analytics, as well as improving their workflow. Slingshot eliminates disruption caused by constant app-switching, and introduces a structured approach to project organization, task prioritization and communication in context. Slingshot is a culmination of on-the-ground best practices culled by Infragistics over its three decades working with hundreds of companies. Guida and Innovation Lab Director Dr. Tobias Komischke, are currently leading Slingshots’ pilot tests.
Dr. Komischke, Director of the new Innovation Lab, spent seven years working at Infragistics before accepting a role as Global Director of User Experience at Honeywell in 2015. In 2020, he returned to Infragistics to lead the new Innovation Lab.
“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,” said Dr. Komischke. “We know that Innovation Labs fail when they don’t strike the perfect balance of freedom and structure, making my mandate two-fold: 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 learn, the sooner we can begin investing vigorously in the projects that prove promising.”
As part of his work with the Innovation Lab, Dr. Komischke also developed an Innovation Fellowship with Rutgers University, which contributes a regular stream of insights that help the company shape its ongoing innovation.
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