Bill T. Gross

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Bill Gross
Bill Gross.jpg
Born1958 (age 64–65)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology

William T. Gross[1] (born 1958) is an American businessman.

Early life[edit]

Gross grew up in Encino, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.[1]


He founded GNP Loudspeakers (now GNP Audio Video), an audio equipment manufacturer; Starship Video, a video arcade,[2] GNP Development Inc., acquired by Lotus Software; Knowledge Adventure, an educational software company, later acquired by Cendant; and the business incubator Idealab in March, 1996, of which he serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.[3]

Gross serves on the boards of numerous companies. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology and of the Art Center College of Design.[citation needed]

One company founded by Gross,, Inc., provided an Internet search engine which relied upon sponsored search results and pay-per-click advertisements.[4] was later renamed Overture Services Inc. and was then acquired by Yahoo! to provide their Yahoo! Search Marketing products.

In 1996, Gross purchased the domain name, which was later sold to NetShepard and then to GuruNet.[citation needed]

In 2004, Gross created the SNAP search engine which introduced a new hyperlink previewer, Snap Shots.[citation needed]

In 2010, Gross founded and launched TweetUp, a search engine for Twitter that promotes the best tweeters on any topic.[5] TweetUp was renamed to "PostUp" to reflect its inclusion of Facebook and LinkedIn status updates.[6]

On January 24, 2011, PostUp acquired popular Twitter client app UberTwitter—after previously purchasing Echofon (for iPhone/iOS) and Twidroyd (for Android OS)—and renamed itself UberMedia.[7]

Solar energy[edit]

A Gross company, Energy Innovations, is working on development of a rooftop concentrated photovoltaic solar collector for flat-roofed commercial buildings. They completed the world's largest corporate solar installation at Google's headquarters in 2006.[8][9]

During 2010, Gross was the CEO of eSolar, a company that aims to make renewable energy cost-competitive with fossil fuel energy using CSP technology. eSolar builds an individual 46 MW power unit on 200 acres and can scale up to 500 MW or larger capacity with multiple units.[10]

Gross also founded Heliogen, a clean energy company backed by Bill Gates. The company has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.[11] Heliogen went public in 2021 through a merger with Athena SPACs.[12][13][14] Bill Gross was ousted by the board as CEO in 2023 and in April 2023 made a tender offer to buy the company.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Management team". Idealab. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Starship Video of Upland, CA" (PDF). November 1982.
  3. ^ "With IdeaMarket, Idealab's Bill Gross Wants To Create 1 Million Startups". Forbes. 8 September 2014.
  4. ^ "If You Could Create a $152 Billion Business in 10 Years and Only Had To Pay 1% of That for the IP, Would You?". Forbes. 2 March 2012.
  5. ^ Todd Woody. "Bringing a Smarter Search to Twitter, with Fees". The New York Times, April 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "TweetUp Now Includes Updates From LinkedIn And Facebook; Changes Name To PostUp". TechCrunch, August 30, 2010.
  7. ^ "PostUp Acquires UberTwitter – Now Called UberMedia". BerryReview, January 24, 2011.
  8. ^ "Energy Innovations Secures $16.5 Million in Venture Financing Led by Mohr Davidow Ventures". BusinessWire. June 21, 2005. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  9. ^ "Google builds largest solar installation in U.S. — oh, and bigger than Microsoft’s". VentureBeat, October 16, 2006.
  10. ^ "A High-Tech Entrepreneur On the Front Lines of Solar". Yale E360. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  11. ^ Matt Egan (19 November 2019). "Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough". CNN. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  12. ^ "Bill Gates-backed Heliogen to go public through $2 bln SPAC deal". Reuters. 2021-07-07. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  13. ^ Ramkumar, Amrith (6 July 2021). "WSJ News Exclusive | Concentrated Solar Power Firm Heliogen to Go Public in $2 Billion SPAC Merger". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  14. ^ "Renewable energy company Heliogen goes public in final SPAC merger of 2021". CNBC. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  15. ^ Engel, John (2023-04-14). "Bill Gross bids for Heliogen after his ouster as CEO". Renewable Energy World. Retrieved 2023-04-24.

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