ILM West Opening Keynote: Bill Gross, CEO, IdealLab

In the great tradition of ILM keynotes, we have landed one of the best yet: Bill Gross, CEO, IdeaLab. It is definitely fitting to have THE premier Los Angeles tech leader and visionary to start things off for us at the conference, which is Dec.4-6.

Gross heads up an ILM West keynote schedule that also includes Google GM of Global Channel Partners Todd Rowe; YP CEO David Krantz; CityGrid Media CEO Jason Fingers; and Facebook Director of Global SMB Dan Levy.

Gross is in the Internet Hall of Fame as the inventor of the auction system for selling contextual advertising (later adapted by Google). He has, in fact, had a tremendous career in software, search, media and multimedia.

After working at Lotus for six years, Gross founded Knowledge Adventure, which made educational software for kids, and sold 20 million CD ROMs. In 1995, French media giant Vivendi bought K.A. for $90 million.

In 1996, Gross founded Idealab, a pioneering incubator which was what he called “a company that makes companies. Seven of the original 10 companies survived for the first year, including four that later went public. Among them: Overture and CitySearch. IdeaLab also has been home to InsiderPages and currently, PunchCard.

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