Elevate 2024: Scaling Generative AI Across the Enterprise
perspectives / Events

Elevate 2024: Scaling Generative AI Across the Enterprise

Insights from our generative AI panel at Salesforce Ventures’ annual CEO summit.

Rob Keith
May 28, 2024

It was a fantastic experience hosting a panel on generative AI at Elevate, our annual CEO summit. The group joining me on stage were true trailblazers in the AI revolution:

Cris Valenzuela is the visionary founder and CEO of Runway. He’s relentlessly pushing the limits of AI-driven content creation. Vipul Ved Prakash is the founder and CEO of Together AI. Vipul and his team are building the critical infrastructure to democratize generative AI. Richard Socher is the founder and CEO of You.com. Richard is on a mission to transform search through AI, delivering genuinely personalized results.

Our conversation featured many great insights for startups and builders of all stripes. In this blog post I’ll share a few that resonated with me. To watch the panel in its entirety, check out the following video:

Editorial noteQuotes have been edited for clarity.

The AI Conversation Has Shifted From Education to Differentiation

10 years ago, AI conversations focused on explaining to users why they need an AI solution at all. Today, the conversation is focused on how to differentiate your AI solution from all the other options on the market, and how to move from proof-of-concept into production use cases.

“The problem back then was that [AI] was a very general purpose technology. You had to choose very specific entry points that help people understand what this can do for them. Now customers come to us and know [AI] can do something for them.”

Richard Socher

Enterprise Sales Depends on Workforce Development

To attract enterprise clients, AI startups must focus not only on selling their products, but also implementation and workforce development. Enterprises with C-suite executives focused on AI transformation tend to make better clients because they can serve as the internal advocate for new AI solutions. 

“I think one of the biggest things that takes time to ramp up is understanding how to best use these models. Sometimes it requires you to do your job slightly differently from what you’ve done before. Companies with a head of AI are more focused, and they feel empowered.”

Vipul Ved Prakash

Companies Will Leverage Open Source for Cost and Efficiency Reasons

Companies are currently using a mix of open source and private LLMs as they scale their AI operations. However, once these organizations move towards production use cases, it’s likely they’ll rely more heavily on open source because it’s more cost effective.

“Most companies don’t need to have the best language model. If you just want to have a service bot or specific answers for your industry vertical, you can have an open source one that you fine tune on your vertical and data. You don’t need the best LLM out there, and that saves you a lot of money.”

Richard Socher

AI Startups Must Move With Urgency

Increasing competition in the AI space is a clear signal that the market sees value in various AI solutions. Startups seeing competition from larger incumbents must strive to iterate faster and take more calculated risks in order to stay relevant.

“Competition from other big companies is great—it moves innovation forward and allows your team to have much more urgency and agency as to what needs to get done and how fast you need to do it.”

Cris Valenzuela

The Only Constant in AI is Change

The panel covered extensive ground, from accrual of AI value to generative AI use cases. With the AI age still in its early stages, all agreed the rapid pace of innovation will likely continue.


Are you a founder building in the generative AI space? We’d love to talk! To get in touch, email me at rob@salesforceventures.com