clock menu more-arrow no yes

With Idea Market, Bill Gross Will Fund You to Bring His Ideas to Life

At launch, the ideas include 3-D lens printing, outsourced X ray reading, pizza delivery robots and an autonomous vehicle street cleaner.

It requires no stretch of the imagination to say that Bill Gross is an idea guy. He came up with seminal Internet innovations like local online directories and paid search. Over the past 20 years, mostly through his Pasadena-based incubator Idealab, he has started more than 100 companies.

Now he wants to give away his ideas in the hope that other people will build them into companies.

“It’s pretty much the culmination of my whole life being an entrepreneur,” said Gross of his latest project, Idea Market.

Idea Market aims to match ideas, would-be founders, money, outside investors and community feedback. While Gross is starting with his own ideas, he wants the site to be a sort of broader Kickstarter for startup concepts. So it will feature ideas from serial entrepreneurs like Max Levchin and Scott Banister, as well as approved crowdsourced online submissions.

At launch, the ideas include 3-D lens printing, outsourced X ray reading, pizza delivery robots and an autonomous vehicle street cleaner.

On the site, prospective startup founders will apply to be the one to try to make the idea come to life.

The model for Idea Market is similar to the gadget maker Quirky, where the original inventor gets a stake in sales, as do community members whose feedback is incorporated. On Idea Market, the inventor gets a five percent equity stake by default, another five percent is split by the community and the majority of the company goes to the founding team. Accredited investors can buy in as well.

Gross is not the only one trying to crowdsource entrepreneurship. Other projects in a similar mode include Assembly.com, a sort of startup collective.

Idea Market will start with 25 ideas and $2.5 million allocated for investments, Gross said.

“I try to write an idea every day in my spreadsheet, so I have thousands of ideas, literally, some of them great, some of them not,” he said. “But there’s only a limited number that I can do myself, maybe four a year.”

Gross said he fought with his own instincts and his lawyers to post those ideas to a general audience. “Only novices think the idea is super valuable. It’s not the idea. It’s building the thing.”

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.