At a large company, you need to be innovative. But innovation involves a fair amount of risk.

To maintain this tricky balancing act, Javelin is jumping in to save the day. With a fresh $1.5 million in funding, Javelin aims to help companies test their employees’ new business ideas while mitigating some of that risk.

The company just graduated from accelerator Techstars NYC. Mark Suster and Upfront Ventures led this round. Lean Startup godfather Eric Ries, 500 Startups, and a host of angel investors also contributed.

Eric Ries’ participation is not surprising, as Javelin’s entire premise is to allow employees to very leanly experiment with potential improvements or new ideas by conducting small experiments, such as customer interviews or landing page tweaks. As employees build a case for a new idea, they help their employers smartly invest in changes and new products.

Javelin is also participating in a well established business pattern. Every 15 years or so, a new business process or movement gains mainstream popularity, eventually leading to the creation a giant software company to bring it to the enterprise. The “waterfall” process emerged in the 1980s, “agile” was born out of the 2000 book Extreme Programming, and “lean startup” methodologies have become the latest rage.

This last one is exactly the software opportunity Javelin is seizing.

The company was co-founded by Trevor Owens, Grace Ng, and Obie Fernandez, It counts GE, Intuit, ESPN, and Salesforce among its clients, according to the company website.


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