AN INNOVATION

HOLDING COMPANY

 
 

WHO

WE ARE

Trillions+Thriving+in+the+Emerging+Infor

We are an innovation holding company that launched in 2013 after the book Trillions was released. We realized the world was looking for a new way to navigate through the technological sea change that was coming from the trillions of nodes of connectivity that the internet promised. Agency of Trillions was acquired by the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo in 2017 and in 2019 we spun out our technology incubator, Studio of Trillions, in partnership with Idealab to create Idealab NY. Shortly thereafter, IdealabX, the early stage venture capital firm, launched to fund companies looking to solve big problems in the world.

 

OUR

PORTFOLIO

We are inspired by the intersection of information technology, advanced manufacturing, regenerative design, decarbonization and most important, the Entrepreneurs who are committed to doing good. We look forward to seeing what emerges from these companies as they make their mark on the world.

THE

TEAM

We love what we do.

 

 
 
 

NEWS

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How Peacock Plans to Go After Facebook and Google Advertisers

AdAge - May 2, 2022

NBCUniversal said it is trying to tap into the millions of smaller advertisers that typically buy media on Google and meta’s Facebook to get them spending on its connected TV app Peacock. Learn More

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A Different Kind of Solar Power Attracts Attention

The Wall Street Journal - April 24, 2022

When you think of solar energy, you probably picture the photovoltaic panels that capture sunlight to be converted to electricity. But there are other ways to harness the sun’s power. One method attracting growing interest is called concentrated solar-thermal power, or CSP, which uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s energy. 

Learn More

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Energy Vault Holdings, Inc. Begins Trading on the New York Stock Exchange

Business Wire - February 14, 2022

Energy Vault Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: NRGV, NRGV WS) (“Energy Vault”), the company developing sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, will begin trading today, February 14, 2022, following the completion of its business combination with Novus Capital Corporation II. Learn More

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Energy Vault Strikes Deal to Provide Gravity Storage in China

Bloomberg - February 1, 2022

Energy Vault Inc., a provider of systems that store energy by elevating heavy objects, agreed to license its technology to a company that plans to build storage facilities in China. Learn More

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Energy Vault, Atlas Renewable and China Tianying Announce $100 Million Transaction With Further Upsized Pipe, Licensing and Royalty Agreement, and Initial 100MWh Project to Drive Decarbonization in China

Business Wire - February 1, 2022

Energy Vault, Inc. (“Energy Vault”), the company developing sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, today announced a License and Royalty agreement for renewable energy storage with Atlas Renewable LLC (“Atlas Renewable”) and their majority investor China Tianying Inc. Learn More

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Forget batteries. This 100-year-old technique provides cheap energy storage for wind and solar power

Fast Company - January 21, 2022

Wind and solar power vary over the course of a day, so energy storage is essential to provide a continuous flow of electricity. But today’s batteries are typically quite small and store enough energy for only a few hours of electricity. To rely more on wind and solar power, the U.S. will need more overnight and longer-term storage as well. Learn More

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Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawback

WIRED - January 4, 2022

Finding green energy when the winds are calm and the skies are cloudy has been a challenge. Storing it in giant concrete blocks could be the answer.

Learn more

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Renewable energy company Heliogen goes public in final SPAC merger of 2021

CNBC - December 31, 2021

Bill Gross, Heliogen CEO, joins ‘TechCheck’ to discuss Heliogen’s debut on the public markets, energy’s role in the world and how the company will utilize a recent $39 billion grant from the Department of Energy. Learn more

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Vaulting Into Global Energy Storage Markets: Energy Vault Is A Player To Reckon With

Forbes - December 2, 2021

How could a large quantity of 35-metric ton blocks of polymer-infused dirt possibly increase the quantities of wind and solar resources that increasingly power our growing clean energy economy?  It turns out, those gigantic blocks may play a key role in storing and releasing energy in our power grids - if we lift and stack them or lower them at the right speed, in the right place, and at the right time. Learn more

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This new tech could make hydrogen an affordable, clean fuel for planes

Fast Company - November 16, 2021

Green hydrogen can fuel planes and heat homes without emissions, but it’s too expensive to be widely used. Heliogen and Bloom Energy say they can bring its cost down with solar power-produced steam. Learn more

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Every Prototype that Led to a Realistic Prosthetic Arm

Wired - November 10, 2021

Since the early 2000s, private companies, governments, and research labs have been developing prosthesis that are a lot more advanced than previous designs. WIRED talked with Easton LaChapelle, founder and CEO of Unlimited Tomorrow, to understand how he designed, tested, and adopted his prosthetic arm. Learn more

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Back to the Roots: Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez

NPR - November 8, 2021

In 2009, Berkeley seniors Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez started to geek out over something they'd heard in a lecture: you can grow a healthy crop of mushrooms on used coffee grounds. Intrigued by the business potential, the pair set aside jobs in finance and consulting and became urban farmers: salvaging leaky bags of coffee grounds, planting mushroom spawn in an Oakland warehouse, and selling their crop to local grocers. Learn more

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Disruption junction: Startup aims to replace locomotives with autonomous railcars

FreightWaves - November 4, 2021

Imagine shorter, more environmentally friendly trains bearing everything from lithium carloads to intermodal containers across short-haul distances. Imagine further that these trains are unencumbered by long waits for locomotives — because they don’t use locomotives. That is the vision that St.Louis-based rail technology startup Intramotev hopes to bring to fruition. Learn more

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This startup is reinventing CO2 capture to reduce the costs

Fast Company - October 19, 2021

One direct air capture startup, called CarbonCapture, wants to help bring costs down by changing a key material used in the technology. The company, which announced the close of a $35 million Series A round of financing today, tweaked the direct air process so it’s possible to pull the carbon from the air using a mineral—called zeolites—which is much cheaper than the raw materials used in other methods. Learn more

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Carbon Capture Inc. Closes $35 Million Series A Funding From Prime Movers Lab, Rio Tinto, Idealab Studio, and Time Ventures

Yahoo! Finance - October 19, 2021

Carbon Capture Inc. (CarbonCapture), a climate tech company that makes machines that remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, today announced the closing of a $35 million Series A funding round and the appointment of Adrian Corless as CEO. Learn more

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Renewable Storage Firm Energy Vault Reaches $1.6 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public

The Wall Street Journal - September 8, 2021

Energy Vault Inc. is combining with a blank-check company to go public in a merger that values the gravity-based energy-storage company at roughly $1.6 billion, the companies said. Learn more

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SoftBank-backed storage developer Energy Vault raises $100 mln

Reuters - August 24, 2021

Energy Vault, a developer of utility-scale battery storage technology backed by SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) and the venture arm of Saudi Aramco (2222.SE), has raised $100 million in a funding round, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday. Learn more

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Heliogen And Bloom Energy Agreement Signals The Start Of The Hydrogen Age

Forbes - July 22, 2021

Today, Heliogen and Bloom Energy (BE) announced a partnership to produce “green hydrogen” – a powerful industrial energy source – using only concentrated solar power and water. Learn more

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Concentrated Solar Power Firm Heliogen to Go Public in $2 Billion SPAC Merger

The Wall Street Journal - July 6, 2021

Heliogen Inc. is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company to go public in a combination that values the concentrated solar power company at about $2 billion, the companies said. Learn more

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How Mirrors Could Power the Planet... and Prevent Wars

Freethink - June 19, 2021

When most people think of solar power, they picture rows and rows of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of a building. But photovoltaic power is terribly inefficient — the mining and refining of the elements required for daily human life are incredibly costly to the environment. Learn more

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Solar concentration startup Heliogen basks in $108M of new funding

TechCrunch - June 15, 2021

Sunlight is a great source of energy, but it rarely gets hot enough to fry an egg, let alone melt steel. Heliogen aims to change that with its high-tech concentrated solar technique, and has raised more than a hundred million dollars to test its 1,000-degree solar furnace at a few participating mines and refineries. Learn more

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Magnite Partners with tvScientific to Woo Performance Marketers to CTV

Ad Age - June 9, 2021

The goal of the new partnership is combining Magnite's relationship with CTV publishers with tvScientific's focus on attribution, to give direct-to-consumer and other direct response brands a clearer path to advertising in CTV. Learn more

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ArcelorMittal : Initial $10 million investment part of broader partnership established with Heliogen (Form 6-K)

Market Screener - June 8, 2021

ArcelorMittal ('the Company') today announces the completion of its first XCarb™ innovation fund investment since launching the initiative in March 2021. The Company has invested an initial $10 million in Heliogen, a renewable energy technology company which focuses on 'unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels'. Learn more

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Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures Invests in Energy Vault

Business Wire - June 2, 2021

Energy Vault, the creator of renewable energy storage products that are transforming the world’s approach to utility-scale energy storage for grid resiliency, today announced new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the strategic technology venturing program of global integrated energy and chemicals company Aramco (TADAWUL: SAUDI ARAMCO). Learn more

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This Bill Gates-backed startup will soon help power a giant mine

CNN Business - March 24, 2021

In a bid to bring carbon-free power to heavy industry, Heliogen announced Wednesday that mining behemoth Rio Tinto plans to deploy the startup's breakthrough solar technology at California's largest open pit mine, located in Boron. Heliogen says this will be the first concentrated solar technology used to power a mine in the United States, and perhaps the world. Learn more

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From Plant To Plate: Grow-Your-Own Kits Are Helping To Alleviate Food Insecurity

Forbes - February 16, 2021

In a bid to bring carbon-free power to heavy industry, Heliogen announced Wednesday that mining behemoth Rio Tinto plans to deploy the startup's breakthrough solar technology at California's largest open pit mine, located in Boron. Heliogen says this will be the first concentrated solar technology used to power a mine in the United States, and perhaps the world. Learn more

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Why clean energy’s future may depend on molten salt, trains, and cranes

Fortune - February 16, 2021

In an effort to make renewable energy more reliable, one company wants to send trains carrying tons of rocks up and down a hill. Another wants to use cranes to stack and unstack heavy blocks.

Learn more

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2021 Honorees: Julian Laval and Ali Imani, Cofounders of Center Health

Forbes - 2021

Julian Laval and Ali Imani founded diabetes device and management company Center Health in 2017 to make glucose monitors that connect to a smartphone and work with an app. Center Health raised $4 million from Fuel Capital, Sequoia Scouts, Luma Launch, IdeaLabX, and has 10,000 customers. Learn more

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2021 Honoree: Easton LaChappelle, Founder of Unlimited Tomorrow

Forbes - 2021

Prosthetics can be expensive, which is why Unlimited Tomorrow is using 3D-printing and scanning to drive down costs. The direct-to-consumer company sells personalized robotic arms for $7,995. Founder and CEO LaChapelle has raised $6.2 million to scale up the company. 

Learn more

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Indiegogo expands its Global Fast Track Program to Japan

TechCrunch - December 14, 2020

Indiegogo plans to help more Japanese entrepreneurs run successful crowdfunding campaigns through a new expansion of its Global Fast Track Program. Indiegogo first launched the program several years ago in China. The idea behind Global Fast Track is to provide an extra level of support to entrepreneurs in specific markets, guiding them through the process of creating campaigns for global consumers, particularly those in the U.S. and Europe. Learn more

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Industry, Powered By The Sun: Heliogen HelioHeat

Time - November 19, 2020

Creating the tons of steel and concrete we use to build our world requires a massive amount of heat—and most of it comes from burning dirty fossil fuels. HelioHeat cleans up that process by using the power of the sun. Learn more

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Leader In Organic Gardening Back To The Roots Raises New Round Of Financing To Fuel Rapid Expansion Into The Seed Packet Category

PR Newswire - October 22, 2020

Back to the Roots, the nation's fastest growing organic gardening company, has closed a new round of financing to fuel the rapid growth of its line of 100% U.S. grown seeds. The capital will be used to scale up national distribution and marketing for the seed packet line, as well as support the continued growth of its small-space gardening kits. Learn more

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Bill Gross, 1990s Dotcom Trailblazer, Is Now Betting on Green Energy

Wall Street Journal - October 6, 2020

The pandemic, by decimating oil demand, crashing prices and challenging the economics of some fossil-fuel projects, has accelerated some industry moves toward low-carbon energy. In Mr. Gross’s view, it has also leveled the playing field for green energy’s drive to displace fossil fuels. Learn more

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Aligned In Mission And Melons, Caribe Juice Acquires WTRMLN WTR, The Pioneer In Cold Pressed Watermelon Juice

PR Newswire - September 18, 2020

Caribé Juice, a minority-owned business, has acquired WTRMLN WTR, a female-founded company with a mission-forward brand and product portfolio. Caribé Juice is committed to continuing to advance the Drink Clean mission of WTRMLN WTR. Learn more

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Two Founders Go From Growing Mushrooms In College To Building Out A National Brand

Forbes - January 31, 2020

Back to the Roots—famous for their grow-your-own-kits— is going mainstream. This February, the Oakland-based company is launching kits in 2,300 Walmarts across the US. Learn more

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Secretive energy startup

backed by Bill Gates achieves

solar breakthrough

CNN - November 19, 2019

Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it 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. Learn more

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Energy Vault raises $110 million from SoftBank Vision Fund as energy storage grabs headlines

TechCrunch - August 14, 2019

Imagine a moving tower made of huge cement bricks weighing 35 metric tons. The movement of these massive blocks is powered by wind or solar power plants and is a way to store the energy those plants generate. (TechCrunch, 8/14/2019). Learn more

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Energy Vault uses cranes powered by renewables to lift giant bricks into a tower.

Fast Company - April 8, 2019

When the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, lowering the bricks back down creates new energy. It’s one of Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards winners. Learn more

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Press Release: Nunbelievable Launch

PR Newswire - March 29, 2019

Tony Robbins, the world-renowned, peak-performance strategist and philanthropist, has announced the creation of Nunbelievable, Inc. A mission-based, direct-to-consumer baked goods company, Nunbelievable supports the work of soup kitchens and is a natural extension of Robbins' 30-year mission to end hunger in the United States. Robbins leads Feeding America's 1 Billion Meals Challenge, which has provided 420 million meals in the past four years alone and is on track to provide a half-billion meals this year. Learn more

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Press Release: Idealab NY Launch

PR Newswire - February 19, 2019

Idealab, the leading technology incubator, and The Trillions Co., the breakthrough social innovation seed-stage investment company, today announced a partnership to launch Idealab New York, a startup studio that creates and launches startups in Food, Education, Media, and Manufacturing. Learn more

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A startup selling mushrooms kits to millennials just got $4 million to expand further into Costco and Target

Insider - August 10, 2018

Before Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora founded Back to the Roots nearly 10 years ago, they were growing mushrooms in a fraternity kitchen at University of California, Berkeley. Learn more

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Jane Chen: Be Courageous Because You Will Fail

Stanford Graduate School of Business - July 31, '17

The CEO of Embrace Innovations explains the most important skill for a successful entrepreneur. One out of every 10 babies in the world is born premature. One million die each year, many due to lack of warmth. Jane Chen, who earned her MBA in 2008, wanted to change that. “No baby should die from being cold,” she says. Learn more

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Indiegogo Acquires an Agency to Expand Its Enterprise Business

 AdWeek - June 1, 2017

Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo announced it has acquired its very own agency—Agency of Trillions—with the hope of expanding its enterprise crowdfunding division, which already counts Hasbro, GE and Whirpool as partners. Learn more

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Man Who Survived a Terrorist Kidnapping, Cancer and The Bachelorette Becomes Successful Mushroom Entrepreneur

People - January 13, 2017

In 2009, Alejandro Velez had overcome a lot of obstacles to get where he was. The then senior at UC Berkeley had survived being kidnapped by terrorists while growing up in Medellín, Colombia, had beaten cancer and was just a few months away from beginning a lucrative career on Wall Street. Then an off-hand remark by a professor changed everything. Learn more

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Why This Food Startup Says Hold the Technology

Inc. - January 28, 2016

With investors like Tony Robbins and Blake Mycoskie, this tiny startup is hoping to make a big change in the way Americans think about what they eat. Learn more

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Inside The Hack Rod, The World’s First AI-Designed Car

Fast Company - December 1, 2015

The brainchild of the Primordial Research Project, this car is based on billions of data points plugged into generative-design software. Learn more

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Idealab Founder Bill Gross' TED Talk 2015

TED - 2015

The single biggest reason why startups succeed. Learn more

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Introducing, the Agency of Trillions

MAYA DESIGN: Notes from the FIeld - Jan. 8, 2014

You may have heard the news that MAYA Design has launched a brand new innovation firm, Agency of Trillions. My name is Deana Burke and I am Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at AoT. I can speak for all AoTers when I say we feel really blessed to be part of the MAYA family and really excited to continue the great work we are delivering for our clients. Learn more

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MAYA Design Launches Innovation Firm, Agency of Trillions

PR Newswire - January 8, 2014

MAYA Design, Inc., (MAYA Design) announced today the launch of Agency of Trillions (AoT)—an innovation agency that combines the disciplines of storytelling and design to help organizations navigate the coming era of pervasive computing. Learn more