Executive Director, Play Labs
Rizwan (Riz) Virk is a successful entrepreneur, angel investor, bestselling author, and indie film producer.
Riz received a B.S. in Computer Science from MIT where his thesis was at the MIT Media Lab, and M.S. in Management from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Riz's entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 23, with his first startup, Brainstorm. Since then, individually and as managing partner at Bayview (www.bayviewlabs.com), he has been a co-founder or investor/advisor of many startups, including Tapjoy (one of the top mobile advertising companies), Gameview (acquired by DeNA), CambridgeDocs (acquired by EMC), Service Metrics (acquired by Exodus), Funzio (makers of the hit game Crime City, sold to GREE), Telltale Games (makers of The Walking Dead games), Pocket Gems, Discord, Disruptor Beam (makers of Star Trek: Timelines and Game of Thrones: Ascent), and SLIVER.TV (eSports in VR).
Riz's video games have included the mobile free-to-play pioneer Tap Fish, which was downloaded more than 30 million times and acquired by DeNA, and mobile games based on the hit TV shows Penny Dreadful and Grimm.
Riz has produced many indie films, including Thrive: What On Earth Will It Take? (viewed over 20 million times), and the fantasy cult classics Knights of Badassdom, starring Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones, and the Mythica series, starring Kevin Sorbo.
Riz speaks and writes regularly on entrepreneurship, video games, meditation & yoga, and more. His first book, Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the Path of the Career Warrior, has inspired both entrepreneurs and spiritual seekers worldwide. His startups have been featured in the Boston Globe, Inc. Magazine, Tech Crunch, CIO, and he has been on shows like Coast-to-Coast AM and was even skewered by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His next book, Startup Myths: What They Don't Teach You At Stanford Business School, will be coming out in 2017.