Peter Barrett might be best known today as co-founder and CTO of Playground Global. But his experience in the technology world stretches back to when he was a teenager.
Barrett’s first security program got the attention of the NSA when he was just 19 years old. His career has been an adventure ever since, starting with his first company, Rocket Science Games. Barrett went on to build an IPTV platform at Microsoft, cloud intelligence for automotive at CloudCar and now quantum and optical computing, robotics and artificial intelligence at Playground. Barrett also holds more than 100 patents.
Despite all the technological progress the industry has made in the past three decades, Barrett believes the computing revolution has yet to begin — hence his interest in startups, particularly around robotics, automation and AI. Playground, which has $825 million under management and 39 active portfolio companies, has made more than 20 investments in robotics and automation. The five-year-old firm has chalked up at least 10 exits, including Canvas Technology to Amazon, DeepScale to Tesla, zippy to Cruise, Lighthouse to Apple and Nervana, which was acquired by Intel.
Barrett also is on the boards of PsiQuantum, Fathom, Lacuna, Anjuna, Artificial, Next Silicon and NVision, and is a board observer of Virta. Despite all of this investor activity, Barrett says he still finds time to code everyday. Perhaps it’s because Barrett believes code is the new concrete, essentially becoming the basis of tomorrow’s infrastructure. Plus, he says coding is fun.
These are just a few of the reasons we’re thrilled to have Barrett join us at 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET July 28 as part of our Extra Crunch Live series, which connects some of the best and brightest minds in tech with our Extra Crunch audience. We’ve had a stacked agenda of speakers, a group that has included Mark Cuban, Aileen Lee and Ted Wang, Aaron Levie of Box, Julia Hartz of Eventbrite and Hans Tung and Jeff Richards at GGV Capital.
Barrett will sit down with us virtually to discuss a multitude of topics, from future of computing, life sciences and automation and why robotics is misunderstood to the potential for automation beyond humanoid robots and whether quantum computing is ready for the spotlight.
We’ll also talk about today, namely COVID-19 and the affect it’s had on his portfolio companies, the challenges of investing in entrepreneurs remotely and how venture capitalists are chasing the wrong kinds of companies and not prioritizing real progress.
In short, we plan to cover a lot, and you don’t want to miss it.