School of Business, Alumni, Student Life, Talks & Lectures, University-wide
3 May 2019
Babbio Center, Room 122

Thomas H. Scholl Lecture by Visiting Entrepreneurs with Bill Barhydt '90

Founder and CEO of Abra

Bill Barhydt

Where WiFi Meets SciFi: Entrepreneurship in a Future Shaped by AI, Bitcoin and Flying Robots

Please join us on Friday, May 3 at 9:30 a.m. in Babbio Center, Room 122 to kick off the 2019 Stevens Innovation Expo.


The 20th century brought an end to the Industrial Age and gave us the Information Age. Over 2 billion human beings are now permanently networked and that number is growing. Now we are likely less than 30 years from artificial intelligence collectively surpassing human intelligence many times over.  The last generation ever to experience loneliness is likely being born right now. What does it mean to innovate as we approach this singularity? What are the opportunities for entrepreneurs to help make it happen and what are the pitfalls they can help society address? This talk is where SciFi meets WiFi, that place where reality becomes illusion ... the idea of smartphones to someone born in 1850 … the idea that we no longer need governments to create money … the idea that living to the age of 250 years old and not running out of food is just common sense. It's the idea that we may finally become interesting to those who have been out there in space “watching us” all along.

About Bill Barhydt

Bill Barhydt ’90 — born in New York City and currently residing near San Francisco — is a serial entrepreneur and has been a pioneer in Internet and media technologies for over 25 years. He is the founder and CEO of Abra, which operates an easy-to-use smartphone app that is democratizing access to financial services in over 100 countries. Abra users can send money globally, invest in different types of assets such as stocks, ETF’s and forex, and hold cryptocurrencies, all in one place. Abra's vision is an open, global financial system that is easily accessible to everyone. Abra is building the WhatsApp of money.

Barhydt started his career working for the U.S. government, first at the CIA in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research and later at NASA's Ames Research Center. Bill also spent several years working in fixed income trading at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. As one of the early team members of Netscape, Bill was involved in building some of the core infrastructure that helped grow the consumer Internet we all use today. Today Bill is globally recognized as a technology pioneer and as an avid investor in companies across the broader technology ecosystem.

As a recognized expert in Internet and mobile technologies, Barhydt has presented at over 100 conferences and agencies, including the World Economic Forum, the U.S. State Department, the Mobile World Congress and TED, where he gave the first ever TED Talk on Bitcoin in 2012.


This event is open to all Stevens students, faculty, alumni, staff and guests.

For more information about the Thomas H. Scholl Lecture by Visiting Entrepreneurs and to view past lectures, visit

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