Chairman, Modal VR; Founder, Atari and Chuck E. Cheese
In 1972 Nolan Bushnell created an industry when he founded Atari and gave the world Pong, the first blockbuster video game. Today his design credo—that games should be “easy to learn and difficult to master”—is inspiring a new generation of developers. A prolific entrepreneur, Bushnell has started more than 20 companies, including Catalyst Technologies, the first Silicon Valley incubator, and Etak, the first in-car navigation system—not to mention Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater. In the process, he pioneered many of the workplace innovations that have made Silicon Valley a long-standing magnet for creative talent. Bushnell was the first and only person ever to hire Steve Jobs, which he details in his 2013 book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs.
His latest startup, Modal VR, is an end-to-end virtual reality platform that delivers large-scale and fully wireless immersion for multiple users at once. The Modal VR ecosystem delivers new possibilities and growth in the enterprise VR market. Additionally, his company Brainrush has developed video-game based learning software that incorporates adaptive learning technologies to vastly increase the speed and efficacy of learning. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California at Los Angeles and an MBA from University of California at Berkeley.
A true icon of the digital revolution, Bushnell was named one of “50 People Who Changed America” by Newsweek. Currently a biopic about Bushnell, tentatively titled “Atari”, was acquired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company and is in pre-production.