NSB Logo Josh Linkner Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner


Detroit, Michigan, USA

Tech Entrepreneur & Hyper-growth CEO

Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies innovation, entrepreneurship, and breakthrough disruption. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.

Keynote Speeches

Find Your Spark: Inspiring Disruption, Growth & Action

A spark. A flash of creative brilliance. A new beginning. The energy to forge ahead when things get tough. Whether it’s mustering the courage to take that first step, or harnessing the creative soul of your team to ignite wide-sweeping transformation, it’s time to create sparks so powerful they can’t be ignored. 

In this inspiring and actionable keynote, famed tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author provides a memorable performance to help you cultivate those powerful, combustible forces. Through real-world examples, hysterically funny stories, and practical takeaways, Josh will help you and your organization find your spark.


Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results

Josh Linkner has seen thousands of companies loaded with creative buzz and big ideas. 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 sold collectively for over $200 million. As a professional jazz guitarist, Linkner blends the improvisational qualities of a jazz ensemble with bleeding-edge business savvy to bring a completely fresh perspective on unleashing creativity in the organization. His inspiring presentation delivers practical tools that can be used immediately to increase creative output and deliver bottom-line results. 

You’ll Learn To:
• Apply creativity on a daily basis across all business activities and roles.
• Master the three most powerful brainstorming techniques that you’ve never heard of.
• Build a culture that celebrates fresh thinking and embraces new ideas.


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 innovative 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. Linkner shows leaders how to employ his simple but effective framework to ramp up the creativity and identify/launch ideas that will break through and defy gravity.

This presentation will help leaders:
• Build the courage to foster responsible risk-taking.
• Develop “everyday creativity” to attack business problems of all sizes.
• Deploy creativity beyond R&D to reimagine processes, drive efficiency and improve operations.


Hacking Innovation: The New Business Growth Model From The Sinister World Of Hackers

Drawing inspiration from the unlikely world of hackers, 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.  

Key takeaways:
• Tools and techniques from the Five Core Mindsets and Ten Primary Tactics of Hackers
• Fresh approaches to complex problem-solving.
• How to protect yourself and your company from innovation hackers of all sizes and types.


Entrepreneurial Fire: Think And Act Like a Startup (Even If You’re Not)

Entrepreneurs look at the world differently. We celebrate them for their bold vision and courage—they drive game-changing innovation that creates enormous economic success while making a profound impact on the world. What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that helps these mavericks seize the opportunity that others miss? A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Josh 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. 

Key takeaways:
• Embrace “startup speed” to increase velocity in your own organization
• Learn the five best approaches used by startups to create disruption
• Avoid the weaknesses that plague entrepreneurs by exposing the four biggest startup death traps

Josh also offers presentations on improvisational thinking and more. View a full overview of his presentations here.

Josh also offers presentations on improvisational thinking and more. View a full overview of his presentations here.

Audience reviews:

  • Our entire team and our clients have totally and thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and have taken so many great ideas away from it. Your feedback scores average 98% so far from D.C. to Atlanta! You are a huge hit with everyone and we so appreciate the energy, enthusiasm, excellent content and delivery that you bring to each conference.

    - Marketing Manager, Fidelity Investments
  • We very much enjoyed your talk and workshop. You created just the right finish and exclamation point in our program. The feedback from our team – amazing, energizing messages, entertaining and humorous, actionable learnings, things people can do right away.

    - Managing Director, Intel Security
  • Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Thank you Josh, you nailed your message and nicely incorporated our company into your talk.

    - Medtronic
  • You were a pleasure to work with and a meeting planner’s dream. Thank you for being so flexible and being so great and delivering an exceptionally tailored talk to our group. People are still raving about it today.

    - CMP, Event Program Manager, International Facility Management
  • As always you are amazing. It is quite obvious that you took the time to prepare to bring everything you have. Thank you for your coaching and support throughout. I am sending you so much gratitude. You amaze me...always!

    - Assoc. Vice President Customer Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company

Speaker Biography

Josh is a New York Times Bestselling author, and an internationally recognized expert on innovation and applied creativity. His first book, Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity (2011), become one of the most definitive works on the topic of innovation, and has since been published in 13 languages. His other two books, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation (2014), and Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers (2017), have both received critical acclaim and have pushed the boundaries of business leaders worldwide.

Josh is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in and/or mentoring over 100 startups. Today he serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, enablement and consulting firm.

Josh has twice been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times.

He is the father of four, a passionate Detroiter, and yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.