Rizwan (“Riz”) Virk is a successful entrepreneur, investor, futurist, bestselling author, video game industry pioneer, and indie film producer. Riz received a B.S. in Computer Science from MIT, and a M.S. in Management from Stanford's GSB. He is currently working on a PhD at ASU's College of Global Futures, researching metaverse and virtual worlds.
Riz was the founder of Play Labs @ MIT, a startup accelerator held on campus at the MIT Game Lab. He also runs Bayview Labs and is a venture partner Griffin Gaming Partners, one of the largest gaming VC funds and is an advisor to Ridge Ventures. Riz is an advisor to many startups, VC's, 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, UFOs/UAPs, the intersection of science, science fiction, religion and philosophy. His podcast, The Simulated Universe explores many of these issues at the edge of science and science fiction.
Riz is a prolific Silicon Valley angel investor, having invested in many startups including Tapjoy, Telltale Games, Discord, Funzio (sold to GREE), Pocket Gems, Moon Express, Theta Labs, Bitmovio, North Bay Solutions, One Billion Tech and many others. His video games have included Tap Fish, Penny Dreadful: Demimonde and Grimm: Cards of Fate.
Riz has produced many indie films (imdb link), including Thrive, Sirius, Knights of Badassdom, starring Peter Dinklage and Summer Glau, The CW's The Outpost, as well as adaptations of the works of Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Riz’s books include Startup Myths & Models, The Simulation Hypothesis, Zen Entrepreneurship, and Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success, and The Simulated Multiverse.
Riz has been featured in Inc. Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, Venture Beat, Vox.com, Digital Trends, Hackernoon, NBC News.com, The Telegraph, BBC Science Focus, The Spectator and many other places.
He speaks regularly on subjects such as startups, video games, the metaverse, meditation and career success both in person and online. He has been interviewed extensively ranging from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to Inside Edition Digital, Coast to Coast AM, CBC's Tapestry, The History Channel and Gaia TV.
He splits his time between Mountain View, CA, Cambridge, MA, and Tempe, AZ, depending on the time of year.
"My own experience has taught me that we live, teach, learn and love in a virtual world. In The Simulation Hypothesis, Riz Virk combines the mind of a scientist with the heart of a mystic, using video games to explain the virtual reality that we live in."
bestselling author of Saved by the Light,
Secrets of the Light