At the end of the day, Ben Reinhardt is trying to enable more awesome sci-fi stuff (that ideally empowers people and leads to human flourishing). The best way to do that is to create new institutional structures that enable different sets of activities than the current set. Specifically he is trying to create a private ARPA to go after things that are too research-y for startups, too engineering heavy for academia, and too weird for the government. His official training is a B.S. in history and mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D in space robotics. Professional history includes: plumbing/HVAC, NASA, working at and attempting to create startups, and venture capital.