Josh Linkner

josh linkner keyntoe speaker

Josh Linkner

josh linkner keyntoe speaker

Speaker: Josh Linkner

Five-time Successful Tech Entrepreneur and Bestselling Author, Disciplined Dreaming


  • Executing Imagination: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results
  • Gravity Defying Leadership: Unleashing Your Organization’s Creative Mojo
  • Entrepreneurial Fire: Think and Act Like a Startup (Even if You’re Not)
  • A Streetfighter’s Guide to Reinvention – Lessons from the Front Lines of Detroit’s Rebirth
  • The Music of Business: Translating Improvisational Thinking from the Jazz Stage to Business
  • Hacking Innovation – The new growth model from the sinister world of hackers

Keynote speaker Josh Linkner is on a mission to help the world unleash its creative mojo. The five-time successful tech entrepreneur and CEO/Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners delivers a clear call to action — it’s better to disrupt your organization before your competition does. The riskiest move companies can make today is hugging the status quo — believing the future will be like the past is the fast road to obsolescence.

Learning to systematically jumpstart the creative energy of individuals at all levels of the organization is essential to finding new routes to growth, profitability and innovation. As a  speaker Josh Linkner shows how to do it with clear and actionable insights that are based on his own experience and lessons from some of the world’s best-known brands. He inspires people with powerful, fun and practical techniques. He ignites immediate and profound results and will show how to unleash hidden creativity and fresh thinking in every setting – from weekly staff meetings to major innovation sessions to new product breakthroughs. Organizations learn to tap into a deep well of inspiration and new ideas — any one of which lead to dramatic outcomes to leadership, innovation and performance. People come alive as they engage their curiosity and wonder – what seemed ordinary becomes an opportunity for new discoveries.

Speaker Josh Linkner is a creative force — an out-of-the-box thinker whose approach to business was forged in disruptive times. He is an entrepreneur and a respected working jazz guitarist – a combination that accounts for his unique way of listening to business and the marketplace. Improvisation is in his blood – a venture capitalist that lives in the world of possibility.

His first book, Disciplined Dreaming – A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, outlines Linkner’s prescription for business success. The book, which was a New York Times bestseller, was named one of 2011′s top ten business titles by

Linkner is founder and former CEO of ePrize, the world’s largest interactive promotion agency which provides digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands. Prior to ePrize, he was founder/CEO of three other successful technology companies. Each of his four startups enjoyed successful exits with a combined value of over $200 million. He has been on the board of over 40 companies, raised over $100 million of venture capital, employed thousands of people and fought through the dot-com crash, 9/11 and the 2008 financial meltdown. His extraordinary business accomplishments led him to be honored as the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” and as a President Barack Obama “Champion of Change” Award recipient.

As CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, Linkner remains at the cutting edge of technology and entrepreneurship. The firm is especially focused on revitalizing his home town of Detroit. Linkner is a regular contributor to Forbes and Inc. magazines. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and he is a weekly columnist for the Detroit Free Press.

Executing Imagination: 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. You’ll learn to:

– Use specific techniques to harness your most powerful ideas

– Apply creativity on a daily basis across all business activities and roles

– Break free from the three biggest blockers of creativity

– Apply best practices from the world’s most innovative companies

– Avoid the five biggest creativity killers

– Master the three most powerful brainstorming techniques that you’ve never even heard of

– Build a culture that celebrates fresh thinking and embraces new ideas

Gravity Defying Leadership: Unleashing Your Organization’s Creative Mojo

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. This presentation will help leaders:

– Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom

– Build courage to foster responsible risk taking

– Authentically express your own creativity and tap into the hidden creativity of your team members

– Develop “everyday creativity” to attack business problems of all sizes

– Deploy creativity beyond R&D to reimagine processes, drive efficiency, and improve operations

– Uncover fresh approaches for reinvention and growth

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:

– Understand how an entrepreneur would attack their organization with the specific goal of dislodging it

– Reimagine their role through the lens of an entrepreneur

– Harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking

– 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

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. Linkner’s heartfelt talk energizes audiences with the power of possibility. It’s also a cautionary tale of how Detroit, once a birthplace of innovation and a vibrant city, succumbed to the evil forces of protectionism, blame, and bureaucracy. The lessons in this powerful comeback story – still in progress – help you:

Understand the 4 most common reasons organizations decay

– Connect the dots between urban renewal and business reinvention, and learn how to apply the same approaches to your own organization

– Embrace the 5 unexpected lessons of underdogs and learn to fight out of seemingly impossible situations

– Gain inside perspective from the passionate leaders who are leading Detroit’s courageous turnaround

– Uncover best practices from ‘streetfigher’ mentality – on scrappiness, determination, resilience and conquering adversity

The Music of Business: Translating Improvisational Thinking from the Jazz Stage to Business

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. In jazz, 99% of the notes are improvised; created in real-time. Yet it’s the structure of a jazz combo – not the inherent talent of individual musicians – that allows for such breathtaking creative expression. In today’s business landscape of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, we can no longer just play the notes on the written page. You will learn powerful lessons inspired by jazz musicians (a/k/a “real-time innovators”) to help you:

– Develop your own ability to improvise, no matter what job title you hold

– Establish team dynamics that foster creative thinking and risk taking

– Uncover fresh approaches to previously unchallenged assumptions

– Break free from traditional thinking and uncover vast new possibilities

– Learn 5 secret techniques used by jazz musicians to foster creativity, which can easily be adapted to your own organization

– Expand your ability to deal with ambiguity and recover from setbacks

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.


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