Josh Linkner
Entrepreneur & Best-Selling Author
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Biography Print Bio

To Josh Linkner, creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress. As such, he’s spent his career harnessing the power of creative disruption.

His journey has been non-traditional at every step. As the founder and CEO of four tech companies, Josh built his businesses from a blank page into a combined value of over $200 million. As a hyper-growth CEO of over 20 years, he’s used innovative approaches to topple competitors, fight through adversity, and achieve at the highest levels.

In addition to his own startups, Josh has been involved with the launch, growth, or financing of over 100 other companies. He’s helped raise over $150 million of venture capital, and has mentored leaders and entrepreneurs through the struggles of explosive growth. He is the founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in tech startups as a platform to help rebuild his beloved hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

As the founder and CEO of ePrize, Josh built the largest digital promotions agency in the world, serving 74 of the top 100 brands. Working with many of the most progressive CMO’s in the world, he is a pioneer in digital marketing, winning dozens of awards for groundbreaking innovation at the intersection of technology and advertising.

Josh is an internationally-recognized thought leader and top-rated keynote speaker on innovation, creativity, reinvention, and hyper-growth leadership. His keynotes are focused on not only inspiring audiences, but also sharing actionable strategies to drive meaningful outcomes. Josh has written two New York Times best-selling books – Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation. His latest book, Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers, reveals the Five Core Mindsets and Ten Primary Tactics of hackers as the new model for complex problem-solving, innovation, and growth.

Beginning his career as a professional jazz guitarist, Josh brings the same love for improvisation and creative expression to everything he does. He is a weekly contributor to Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and the Detroit Free Press. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Obama Champion of Change Award recipient.

Josh is on a mission to help people and organizations unleash creativity to maximize full potential. And yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.

Speech Topics

  • Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results
    How is it that some harness their imagination to create game-changing drivers of growth and innovation while others miss the mark? The answer: the best companies have a systematic process to focus their team’s creativity into practical outputs – something Linkner discovered by founding and building companies that collectively sold for over $200 million.
  • The Gravity-Defying Leader: Innovative Approaches to Hyper-Growth Leadership
    With disruptive forces assaulting business from every direction, creativity has been labeled the single-most important business attribute. To succeed, leaders must be focused on creating a resilient culture where everyone’s engaged; a torrent of fresh, creative ideas needs to flow from every level of the organization. Top leaders then employ a secret weapon: a systematic approach to selecting and launching the ideas that will best drive growth and innovation.
  • Entrepreneurial Fire: Think and Act Like a Startup (Even If You're Not)
    What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that helps these mavericks seize opportunity that others miss? A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Linkner shows leaders and organizations how to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight.
  • The Music Business: Translating Improvisational Thinking from the Jazz Stage to the Business World
    Be prepared to be amazed. Josh Linkner, a jazz guitarist since age 14, credits a musical background for giving him a different way of looking at business. In this stunning interactive presentation, a live jazz performance by Josh and his band is woven with stimulating dialogue. You’ll actually hear, through their music, fresh ways to unleash your organization’s creative mojo.
  • A Streetfighter's Guide to Reinvention - Lessons From the Front Lines of Detroit's Rebirth
    Detroit’s fight back from the brink is an inspiring tale of resilience told first-hand by Josh Linkner whose grit and passion are playing a critical role in the city’s revitalization. Linkner is a driving force in Detroit’s comeback; among his many honors – “Detroit Executive of the Year”, the region’s “CEO of the Year” and “Michiganian of the Year.” As the CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, he is helping the city he loves rise from the ashes and reconnect to its entrepreneurial and technological roots.
  • Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers
    With intense competitive pressures and mind-numbing speed, leaders seek fresh approaches for growth and innovation. As old methods become commoditized, new creative problem-solving techniques are needed more than ever. Drawing inspiration from the unlikely world of hackers, New York Times best-selling author and 5-time tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner has discovered a new and powerful model for leadership and organizational success. The underworld of cybercriminals contains some of the most creative people on the planet, despite their illicit motives. In this thrilling and provocative talk, Linkner takes the audience on a mind-opening journey, showing how hacking techniques can be deployed to drive legitimate business outcomes. Learning how hackers would solve your most pressing challenges using unorthodox approaches will give you a new framework for creative problem solving, growth, and innovation.
VIDEO
MEDIA GALLERY
Hacking Innovation
Disciplined Dreaming
The Road to Reinvention
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