Idealab (formerly known as idealab!) is a startup studio based in Pasadena, California, U.S.A. Idealab was founded by Bill Gross (not the same Bill Gross of PIMCO) in March 1996. Prior to Idealab, he founded GNP Loudspeakers (now GNP Audio Video), an audio equipment manufacturer; GNP Development Inc., acquired by Lotus Software; and Knowledge Adventure, an educational software company, later acquired by Cendant. Gross graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and Idealab has historically hired many alumni; Gross now sits on the Institutes board of trustees. The company leased the right to use the .tv domain, giving the island nation of Tuvalu enough money to join the United Nations in 2000.