Tag Archives: Bill Gross

Creativity 101: Harnessing the power of students’ imaginations

Photographs by Chris Hatcher, PHOT '05

Photographs by Chris Hatcher, PHOT ’05

In 30 minutes, visualize your creative process and recreate it using an 8-and-a-half-by-11 sheet of paper.

This is the first assignment in Creative Strategies, a popular undergraduate Product Design course taught by instructor Fridolin “Frido” Beisert PROD 98, INDU 08, faculty director of Art Center’s Product Design Department.

All 14 students accept the challenge. Walking to the front of the classroom, they each select a single sheet of colored construction paper and take a seat along the row of bare metal tables. As a digital timer, projected onto the wall, starts ticking, the students immediately start cutting, tearing, folding and drawing.

Continue reading

Say Goodbye to the Old Paradigm. Here Comes the Next Generation of Design-Driven Startups


Art Center  and Caltech today announced the launch of The Design Accelerator, an incubator aimed at helping startups grow by merging great design, cutting-edge technology and business strategy to create innovation. The Accelerator initially will be housed within Idealab, which is well known for creating and operating pioneering companies in its own right.

“In today’s economy, artists and designers play a vital role as creative leaders and catalysts for innovation and change,” said Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman. “Integrating technology, design and business, The Design Accelerator creates an opportunity for Art Center and Caltech alumni to expand on what they learned as students and provides a stimulating space for their concepts to become viable businesses.”

The Accelerator is an integral part of Art Center’s 2011–2016 Strategic Plan. Understanding students’ concerns about employment prospects following graduation, The Accelerator fills a critical gap by giving students and alumni the opportunity to develop their concepts into sustainable and commercial ventures—a bridge between academic and professional life.

Fred Farina, Caltech’s chief innovation officer, adds, “We know that making connections across different areas fuels innovation, and that’s why we’re excited about this collaboration. The combination of our complementary but very different perspectives in a startup team promises powerful results.”

The Design Accelerator benefits from its prime location in Pasadena, Calif., which has become a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship with vibrant creative, technology and business communities, enriched by the presence of Art Center, Caltech, angel investors and venture capitalists.

Continue reading

TEDxYouth at Caltech: Brain Food

TEDxYouth served up generous helpings of Brain Food at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Among the cooks in the kitchen: Art Center Trustee Bill Gross; Professor and Director of Sustainability Initiatives Heidrun Mumper-Drumm; and Product Design alumna Mariana Prieto, who completed the Designmatters Concentration in Art and Design for Social Impact.

The day-long event took place January 19, 2013, and 8-minute videos of the talks were recently made available online. If you have an appetite for fresh ideas, watch!

A Perfect Storm of Opportunity: Bill Gross at TEDxYouth@Caltech

Bill Gross is a lifelong entrepreneur who has been starting companies since he was 12 years old. He has personally started more than 100 companies in the last 42 years, of which more than 40 have gone public or been acquired. Gross is the Founder and CEO of Idealab, a “company factory” based in Pasadena, which he started in 1996. Gross is credited with starting the first online business directory company with CitySearch, the first online car retailed with CarsDirect, the first paid search engine with Goto.com/Overture, and the longest-running technology incubator where he has been the creator of all these companies. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Gross currently serves on its Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Board of the Art Center College of Design, and more than 20 technology companies in California.

Continue reading

WATCH: Art Center President Lorne Buchman talks conscious design

Bill Gross, CEO, Idealab in conversation with Lorne Buchman, President, Art Center College of Design from Ted Habte-Gabr on Vimeo.

What defines innovation? Art Center College of Design President Lorne Buchman and Idealab CEO and Art Center Trustee Bill Gross describe it through frugal, real-world projects that make the planet a better place.

During a recent Live Talks Business Forum, Buchman and Gross discussed works-in-progress highlighting Gross’ Idealab, a Pasadena-based think tank for startups.

Through Idealab, Gross created WorldHaus, which manufactures eco-friendly, modular housing in more rural parts of India starting at $2,000.

Gross said his for-profit company has the goal of adding 200 homes in India this year and increasing that number to 1 million houses by decade’s end.

Buchman talked about Art Center’s Designmatters program, which allows students to design for communities in developing countries including India.

Just a warning: The 50-minute video has some static, but the ideas are solid.

Innovative design in India topic at Live Talks

President Lorne Buchman, left, and Trustee and Idealab CEO Bill Gross at Live Talks

Art Center College of Design President Lorne Buchman and Idealab CEO and Art Center Trustee Bill Gross bonded over socially conscious design in India Thursday morning at Live Talks Business Forums, a one-hour conversation focused on innovation and design held in downtown Los Angeles.

Through WorldHaus, longtime entrepreneur Gross has ventured into creating eco-friendly, modular housing in more rural parts of India starting at $2,000. Buchman highlighted furniture created by a Designmatters student that features creative seating with storage for low-income city-dwellers in Bangalore.

“We have to go make a deal with that student and start that right away!” said Gross.

WorldHaus has the goal of adding 200 homes in India this year and increasing that number to 1 million houses by decade’s end. The for-profit company manufactures the structures for $1,800 and owners pay $200 down and $10 a month.

Continue reading

Got an Idea? Need a Job? Get Moving!

Things are always in motion at Idealab's Pasadena offices

A little bird just told us that startup incubator Idealab is holding a job fair next Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at their Pasadena offices.

Idealab founder and Art Center trustee Bill Gross will offer some welcoming remarks and executives from a number of Idealab’s startup companies–UberMedia, Evolution Robotics, GO Interactive and more–will be on hand to pitch their companies to the fair’s attendees.

Here’s the message we were sent:

Idealab is hosting a job fair at their offices for 10 of their startups companies. They are looking for coders, roboticists, marketing managers and community managers to fill the areas of their Green Tech, Social Media, Big Data, and Enterprise companies.  If you are a super star you are pretty much guaranteed to find a job here.

For those that may be unfamiliar with Idealab, it was founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross. Idealab provides a broad range of operational support to its companies, allowing the company management teams to focus on getting to market quickly and cost effectively and to take advantage of the serial start-up experience of the Idealab team. Bill Gross and Idealab have founded or advanced development of more than 75 companies including Overture Services, eSolar, UberMedia, CitySearch, Picasa and Internet Brands. Current operating companies are providing innovative technology solutions in industries such as software, search, robotics, Internet media and services and alternative energy fields.

So do yourself a favor this month and come explore a variety of tech opportunities and network with some of LA’s top startups at the offices of Idealab, the Pasadena-based technology incubator.  Bill Gross will be on site to give a special welcome, and executives from Idealab’s companies will pitch their businesses to attendees. Come have a good time and enjoy the Idealab hospitality. You can be sure that food, beer and wine will be served.

The event will max out at 200 attendees. Registration is required and if you are an outside tech recruiter you’re going to have to sit this one out.  REGISTER HERE.

The Deets
When: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
6:00pm – 9:30pm
Where: Idealab
130 W. Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
Participating Companies

Want to learn more about how Idealab works? Watch This Week in Venture Capital’s Mark Suster interview Bill Gross after the break.

Continue reading