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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Neil Serebryany, CEO & Co-Founder of CalypsoAI, an AI security platform that has raised over $38 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Origins in Intelligence and AI: Neil’s experience in the US intelligence community revealed the vast potential of AI for data analysis and the significant security vulnerabilities that accompany AI’s rise, inspiring the foundation of CalypsoAI.
  • Early Challenges and Learning: The initial days of CalypsoAI involved identifying and addressing the myriad vulnerabilities in AI systems, underscoring the nascent state of AI security and the company’s role in shaping the field.
  • Market Education and Awareness: In the early stages, there was a significant challenge in convincing stakeholders of the imminent need for AI security solutions before the widespread acknowledgment of AI vulnerabilities.
  • Government as the First Customer: Having the government as an early customer provided substantial initial revenue and R&D collaboration opportunities but necessitated balancing government-specific solutions with broader enterprise needs.
  • Building Trust and Credibility: CalypsoAI leveraged its government partnership as a credibility stamp in the enterprise domain, emphasizing the importance of showing tangible product value to build trust.
  • Navigating the Post-ChatGPT Landscape: The advent of generative AI and foundation models has significantly shifted the company’s focus and messaging, aligning with the evolving AI risk landscape and enterprise needs for simplified, secure AI deployment.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Early and Ongoing Market Education is Key:

Neil’s experience illustrates the importance of educating potential customers about emerging threats and solutions, even before they recognize the need themselves. For B2B tech founders, investing in educational content and discussions around the problems your technology solves can create a market for your product, especially in nascent fields.

Leverage Government Partnerships for Credibility:

The government's role as CalypsoAI's first paying customer highlights how government partnerships can serve as a powerful endorsement, especially in sectors like AI security. Founders should consider how early engagements with government agencies can build credibility and open doors in the private sector.

Balance Innovation with Simplicity:

Neil’s journey underscores the challenge of innovating while keeping solutions simple and user-friendly. Founders should strive to strip their offerings down to the most essential features that deliver value, avoiding complexity that can deter adoption.

Contribute to Standards and Regulations:

Engaging with and contributing to industry standards and regulations can position your company as a thought leader and trusted advisor. This proactive approach can enhance your brand’s credibility and influence in your category.

Adapt Quickly to Evolving Market Needs:

The rapid evolution of AI technologies, exemplified by the shift towards generative AI, necessitates agility in how products are developed and marketed. Founders must stay ahead of technological trends, adapting their solutions and messaging to meet the changing needs and concerns of their customers.

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