Advisory Board

Riz Virk, M.S.

Riz Virk, M.S., is a gaming expert and legendary gaming investor, successful entrepreneur, futurist, angel investor, bestselling author, video game industry pioneer, and independent film producer. He is the Executive Director and Founder of Play Labs @ MIT, Cofounder and Managing Partner of Bayview Labs, and author of Startup Myths & Models: What You Won’t Learn in Business School, Zen Entrepreneurship, The Simulation Hypothesis, Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success, and The Simulated Multiverse.

Riz currently runs Bayview Labs, a Silicon Valley investment fund and Play Labs @ MIT, a startup accelerator held on campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a venture partner, mentor, and advisor at 500 Startups, advisor at Ridge Ventures, Venture Partner at Griffin Gaming Partners, one of the largest gaming VC funds, and Judge, Speaker, and Mentor to the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition.

Shortly after graduation from MIT in 1992, Riz worked at DiVA, the developer of pioneering desktop digital video editing software DiVA Videoshop — for consumers. The company was the first successful spin-out from the MIT Media Lab and was acquired by Avid Technology in 1993.

In 1993, he worked as an Application Programmer for Lotus Development, one of the largest software companies in the world at the time. He worked on their groundbreaking Lotus Notes platform for groupware, collaboration, and application development.

Riz’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1993 at the age of 23, with his first startup, Brainstorm. As Cofounder, President, and CEO, Riz was responsible for all aspects of starting and growing Brainstorm from a 2 person to a 100 person company. Their products were used by over 2,000 enterprises to bridge the gap between their legacy systems and new collaborative platforms like Lotus Notes.

Since then, individually and as managing partner at Bayview, he has been a cofounder or investor and advisor of many startups.

In 1998, he Cofounded Service Metrics funded by SoftBank and IDG Ventures and sold to Exodus in 1999.

In 2002, EMC Document Sciences acquired his company, CambridgeDocs, which he cofounded and ran from 2002 to 2007. He was responsible for finding ways to integrate the Document Sciences XML products (the CambridgeDocs xDoc products) into the EMC Documentum product line and exploring business opportunities around XML with the various product lines.

In 2009, Riz was the first angel investor and part of the founding team at Tapjoy, a mobile game and advertising company, and Offerpal, which was a leader in the Facebook/social gaming advertising market, which combined in 2010. The combined company, Tapjoy, went on to become one of the largest mobile advertising companies in the world.

Riz continued to cofound, mentor, and advise companies and startups, including Gameview acquired by DeNA; Funzio, makers of the hit game Crime City and sold to GREE; Telltale Games, makers of The Walking Dead games; PocketGems; Discord; Disruptor Beam, makers of Star Trek: Timelines; and Game of Thrones: Ascent; SLIVER.TV with eSports in VR; Moon Express; Theta Labs; BitMovio; North Bay Solutions; One Billion Tech; and many others.

Riz’s many startups have created products used by thousands of enterprise customers, and his games have been downloaded millions of times. His games include Tap Fish, Penny Dreadful: Demimonde, Grimm: Cards of Fate, and Bingo Run.

Riz’s films have included Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take which has been viewed more than 70 million times, Turquoise Rose, The Outpost, Mythicaseries, starring Kevin Sorbo, Sirius, the cult classic Knights of Badassdom, starring Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones and Summer Glau, as well as adaptations of the works of Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin and many others — mostly indie films.

His documentary Sirius is about the life of Dr. Steven Greer, UFO secrecy, and existing energy technologies that could change the world as we know it.

The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics Agree We Are in a Video Game, draws from research and concepts from computer science, artificial intelligence, video games, quantum physics, and referencing both speculative fiction and ancient eastern spiritual texts, Riz shows how all of these traditions come together to point to the idea that we may be inside a simulated reality like the Matrix.

In his book Startup Myths & Models: What You Won’t Learn in Business School, Riz combines lessons learned the hard way during his twenty-five years of founding, investing in, and advising startups with reflections from well-known venture capitalists and experts..

Riz’s first book, Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the Path of the Career Warrior, reached the top of Amazon’s business and spiritual bestseller lists and has inspired entrepreneurs and spiritual seekers around the world.

Riz began his Ph.D. research on metaverse and virtual worlds at the School for Future of Innovation in Society from Arizona State University in 2021 and is due in 2024. He earned his Master’s Degree of Science in Management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2009. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT in 1992, where his thesis work was at the MIT Media Lab.

Riz writes on the intersection of science, science fiction, business, and spirituality. His startups, articles, and books have been featured in Inc. Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal TechCrunch,,, Gamasutra, VentureBeat, Hackernoon, The Telegraph, BBC Science Focus, The Spectator and many other places. He speaks regularly on subjects such as startups, video games, meditation, the metaverse, and career success both in-person and online on shows such as Coast to Coast AM, Inside Edition Digital, The Jenny McCarthy Show, CBC’s Tapestry, The History Channel, Gaia TV, and even the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

As an advisor to many educational institutions, blockchain organizations, and private foundations, his interest and expertise ranges from startups, VC industry, video games, metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency, meditation, consciousness, simulation theory, the intersection of science, science fiction, religions, and UFOs. His podcast The Simulated Universe explores many of these issues.

He splits his time between Mountain View, CA, Cambridge, MA, and Tempe, AZ — depending on the time of year.

Watch The Simulated Multiverse, The Simulation Hypothesis, and From the Metaverse to the Simulation Hypothesis.

Read Are we living in a computer simulation? I don’t know. Probably, Write Now with Rizwan Virk, The DeanBeat: Riz Virk interview — Do we live in The Simulated Multiverse?

Watch We Are Living in the Simulation Hypothesis. Read his stories at HackerNoon and follow his contributions at the Medium and Muck Rack. Listen to his top Podcasts.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, his Homepage, and his Amazon profile. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Vintro, and Twitter.