Los Angeles Business Journal

Cornerstone Launches Startup Investment Fund and Incubator

By Natalie Jarvey Thursday, November 14, 2013

Talent management software firm Cornerstone OnDemand has launched a fund and incubator program to work with cloud technology startups.

The Santa Monica company announced the initiative Thursday, the same day it hosted its inaugural L.A. Tech Summit technology conference.

The Cornerstone Innovation Fund will invest between $250,000 and $1 million in each startup. The company plans to invest in a few startups every year.

Cornerstone Chief Executive Adam Miller said the company would seek board approval for all investments, which will be funded by the more than $300 million in assets currently on the company’s balance sheet.

“We created the innovation fund to enable us to put more fuel into those companies we were incubating and, at the same time, have the opportunity to invest in businesses that can extend our platform,” Miller said. “As a public company, we really had two options when it came to investing in companies we encountered, either partner with them or acquire them. This gives us a third option.”

Cornerstone will also offer temporary office space for about five companies at its Santa Monica headquarters. Miller said company executives will help mentor those startups.

“We view this as an added perk for our own employees,” he said. “This is a way to give our own employees a chance to interact with cool disruptive businesses. We think this drives innovation and engagement in our own team.”

Cornerstone shares closed down 31 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $48.30 on the Nasdaq.