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Salesforce Incubator brings innovation to forefront of Salesforce SMB strategy

Launched in 2014, the Salesforce for Startups program is designed to educate companies on how to use the Salesforce platform, and also how to use best practices in a variety of disciplines, from sales to marketing to customer service.

Salesforce, the cloud-based CRM vendor, has long held the notion that startups are best nurtured in an environment of collaboration, integration with other technologies, and education. The program reflects this ethic.

Just a few months prior to the annual Dreamforce conference, Salesforce launched its Salesforce Incubator program, which helps a subset of the Salesforce for Startups cohort drive innovation. With the incubator program, 14 companies were selected in 2016 to work with Salesforce on the company's San Francisco campus for five months. The Salesforce Incubator provides an environment for these companies to innovate, share best practices and learn from others in the Salesforce ecosystem. The first installment of incubator companies focused on using Salesforce App Cloud.

Ulrich emphasized that these startups have different business problems, but one common theme among them is learning how to use Salesforce and other tools to create intelligent systems. Salesforce also touted its own artificial intelligence technology, Salesforce Einstein, heavily at the show.

"We can refer to AI, or Einstein or natural language processing," Ulrich said. "But all these companies are trying to bring that intelligence to what they are building. The future is about having intelligence as part of the app, where next year we'll just take it for granted: 'Of course it's AI-enabled, of course it's fast, of course it's mobile,'" he said.

For more, check out all our Dreamforce 2016 conference coverage here.

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