Alejandro Matamala, Runway: Unlocking AI potential to streamline multimedia content creation, Ep. 199

Alejandro Matamala

Generative AI is becoming a game changer for creative industries by boosting content creation with more efficient and cost-effective processes.

Alejandro Matamala is the cofounder and CDO of Runway, a pioneering company that develops AI-powered tools designed to improve creative workflows.

I sat down with Alejandro to talk about AI’s progress and how Runway is building the future of AI tools for creative industries. Runway isn’t Alejandro’s first company. He’s been an entrepreneur since his university days, starting a creative agency, a dental marketplace, and an Etsy-like platform for Chile.

From digital agency to building AI tools for creatives

Alejandro’s entrepreneurial journey began when he was young. Pursuing his creative interests, Alejandro studied communication at university and opened a design studio in Chile. His passion for business and creativity continued and led him to cofound Vitrin, Deenty, and Runway. 

Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about Alejandro’s entrepreneurial background.

Jumping from a master’s thesis to building a successful AI company

During his master’s program at NYU, Alejandro met fellow Chilean Cristóbal Valenzuela, Runway’s cofounder, who built the first version of Runway as his thesis project.

Upon graduating, NYU offered them a research residency where they met Anastasis Germanidis, who joined Runway as a cofounder. One prototype and a tweet generated interest from users and set the tone for building the successful company that Runway is today.

Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to hear the full story behind Runway’s cofounders’ journey.

Generative AI’s breakthrough

In the last few years, we have witnessed the power of generative AI, but this tech is not new. In the last year, Runway has increased its offering of AI tools from three to more than thirty, a growth that comes from 5 years of work and research.

Today Runway’s tools produce high-quality media outputs and have been used in films such as the award-winning Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Listen to Alejandro’s perspective on the future of generative AI in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Outline of this episode:

  • [01:44] – About Runway
  • [03:57] – Runway’s tools
  • [05:49] – From founding a design studio to creating AI-Powered tools
  • [07:31] – Having a business while studying at college
  • [09:14] – About Deenty
  • [12:30] – Lessons learned from building three different companies
  • [13:54] – Jumping to the US
  • [18:07] – The breakthrough of generative AI 
  • [20:30] – The fundraising process through the years
  • [22:50] – The future of generative AI tools
  • [26:28] – Alejandro’s documentary recommendation
  • [27:24] – Advice to Alejandro’s younger self
  • [35:23] – What’s next for Runway?

Resources & people mentioned:

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