Following a successful ten-year entrepreneurial career, Gary spent seven years on Wall Street; building an international reputation as a high- technology analyst and managing director, first at Piper Jaffray and then Needham & Co. In 1989, he left the Street to form Smaby Group Inc., a strategic advisory firm serving senior executives within F500 corporations such as IBM, Intel, Hewlett Packard and Oracle; as well as high-profile entrepreneurs that were creating new ventures at technology’s leading edge.
Gary's expert commentary on the history of supercomputers is featured on a permanent video kiosk at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
In 2000, Mr. Smaby became a founding managing partner of Quatris Fund, a seed-stage venture capital fund formed with St. Paul Venture Capital, the former venture arm of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company (now Travelers Group). He served as sole managing partner of the Quatris I Fund until 2013, when the partnership elected to not raise a follow-on fund. He served for five years on the External Advisory Board for the Deep Computing Institute at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Laboratory. Mr. Smaby was the 2003 President of the Minnesota Venture Capital Association. In 1997 Smaby was invited by NASA to present Colloquium lectures at both the NASA Langley Research Center and the Virginia Air and Space Museum.
During the first quarter of 2009, Gary was an Visiting Scholar at the renowned California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2) at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He returned to CALIT2 again in the spring of 2010. In 2011, Gary was an invited Scholar/Artist at University of California, Santa Barbara at the Allosphere Lab within the California Nanosystems Institute. Since 2012 Gary has made an annual sojourn to UCSB's Kavli Center for Theoretical Physics (KITP) as a visiting Scholar-in-Residence.