Heliogen CEO Bill Gross Named to Fast Company Most Creative People in Business List for 2020

Gross recognized as a catalyst for ideas that leverage the power of technology and bridge between vision and execution of the clean energy transition

Bill Gross - CEO of Heliogen (Photo: Business Wire)

PASADENA, Calif.--()--Heliogen, the clean energy company that is transforming sunlight to create and replace fuels, today announced that the company’s CEO and founder Bill Gross was selected by Fast Company for inclusion on the publication’s 11th annual list of Most Creative People in Business. The list honors an influential and diverse group of leaders from a vast range of global industries including technology, design, entertainment, healthcare, media, government, nonprofit, sports, food, and more. Gross joins a list of women and men from such companies as Netflix, Google, and Patagonia, as well as institutions such as Johns Hopkins University.

This news follows Heliogen’s recognition by Fast Company as a 2020 World Changing Idea, winning in the Energy category. In addition to his role at Heliogen, Gross is the founder and chairman of Idealab, the first and longest-running technology incubator. He is also the co-founder of Energy Vault, the creator of products that combine conventional physics with advanced machine vision software to provide utility-scale storage of clean energy, which also won the Energy category in Fast Company’s 2019 list of World Changing Ideas.

Heliogen’s technology delivers carbon-free, ultra-high temperature heat from an on-site concentrated solar power array. The system uses advanced computer vision software for unprecedented accuracy, efficiency and commercial scalability. It also replaces greenhouse gas-generating fuels with clean, solar heat in a wide range of industrial processes for the first time. The technology tackles the “75% problem,” which refers to the 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that are from non-electricity sources. It provides a path to decarbonization for industries, including cement, mining, steel, and petrochemicals, which require high temperatures in their operations.

In November 2019, Heliogen announced generating solar heat at a record-breaking 1,000 degrees Celsius at its facility in Lancaster, California. In addition to industrial process heat, Heliogen’s technology roadmap calls for temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, Heliogen can perform CO2-splitting and water-splitting to make 100 percent fossil-free fuels such as hydrogen.

“I’m honored to be included by Fast Company in a group with so many distinguished and creative people,” said Bill Gross, CEO and founder, Heliogen. “I've always believed that entrepreneurship and creativity can unlock human potential and change the world, and, to that end, I’ve spent my professional career creating companies ranging from cleantech and robotics to AI and e-commerce. At a time when we face so many challenges, I hope – and believe – that creatively using transformative technology to face them can truly make the world a better, more sustainable place.”

Gross’s Idealab recently celebrated its 24th anniversary. Since its inception, Idealab has been home to more than 150 companies, created more than 10,000 jobs, and had more than 45 successful IPOs and acquisitions. Gross is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology and of the ArtCenter College of Design.

“Each year, we recognize artists and conventionally creative people making their mark on business and corporate executives deploying creativity and innovation to address some of the biggest challenges facing businesses and society,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Individually and collectively, the Most Creative People are an inspiration.

The Most Creative People in Business list recognizes individuals who used their innovative thinking to make an impact on the world beyond financial success. These engineers, executives, choreographers, activists, designers, journalists, and founders have created something new this year within their field that’s never been done before in their industries. Many achieved these societal problem-solving accomplishments in one of the most contentious and erratic times in history. The people selected have all accomplished something truly innovative within the past 12 months or so that is having a measurable effect within their industries and beyond. Together, they represent the future of business.

The complete Most Creative People in Business list can be viewed here.

About Heliogen

Heliogen is a clean energy company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy. Heliogen’s mission is to create the world’s first technology that can commercially replace fossil fuels in industrial processes with carbon-free, ultra-high temperature heat from the sun and to transform sunlight into fuels, including hydrogen, at scale. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator.

In April 2020, Fast Company selected Heliogen as a recipient of a 2020 World Changing Ideas Award for its technology. The company won the Energy category.

For more information about Heliogen, please visit heliogen.com or @heliogeninc.


Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication, Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business issue (September 2020) is available online now here and on newsstands beginning August 11, 2020. Join the Most Creative People conversation using #FCMostCreative.


Leo Traub, Antenna Group for Heliogen

Release Summary

Heliogen CEO & founder Bill Gross was selected by Fast Company for inclusion in the 11th annual list of Most Creative People in Business.

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Leo Traub, Antenna Group for Heliogen