NSB Logo

Josh Linkner

Tech Entrepreneur Driving Creativity, Innovation & Reinvention

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 five 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.

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Presentations

Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas into Powerful Results
As a five-time successful tech entrepreneur and investor in dozens of startups, 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 collectively sold for over $200 million. As a professional-level 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.

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, NY Times bestselling 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.

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. Josh Linkner weighs in with a fresh perspective on this critical leadership challenge. A highly successful serial entrepreneur and now a tech investor, 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. 

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 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. Josh Linkner decodes the entrepreneurial DNA to help leaders of any size company in any industry or profession.

Awards

2009
Detroit Executive Association | Executive of the Year

2006
Inc. | Top 500

2004
Ernst & Young | Entrepreneur of the Year


  • It was quite literally one of the most motivating and through provoking two hours of my professional career. I was blown away!

    - Head of UK Internal Audit, Heineken UK
  • A journey that will lead to better ideas and breakthrough thinking.

    - Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
  • Linkner hit the ball out of the park!

    - Vice President, ABC Television
  • Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Thank you Josh, you nailed your message and nicely incorporated our company into your talk.

    - Medtronic
  • Inspiration through engaging stories, powerful examples, and easy-to-follow processes.

    - CEO & Co-Founder, Exact Target
  • Your presentation was phenomenal. I’m leaving today with renewed energy, ideas and enthusiasm.

    - Business Development Communications Manager, Associated Financial Group
  • Terrific! Our people were very engaged and had some great takeaways. You definitely make an impact.

    - ESPN

Summary Profile

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 is a two-time New York Times Bestselling Author of three books – Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough CreativityThe Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, and Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers.

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.