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Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner

Entrepreneur, Expert on Creativity, Innovation, Reinvention

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Fee Range: 10000-19999, 20000-39999, 40000-74999

• Two-time NY Times Bestselling Author, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention
• Four-time tech entrepreneur, serving as founder and CEO of each, driving a combined exit value of over $200 million
• Top-rated keynote speaker delivering inspiring talks on creativity, innovation, reinvention, and hyper-growth leadership
• Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, helping to rebuild his hometown of Detroit, Michigan
• Founder and former CEO/Chairman of ePrize (largest interactive promotion agency in the world)
• Professional jazz guitarist
• Weekly contributor to Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and the Detroit Free Press

Josh Linkner is a Creative Troublemaker. He passionately believes that all human beings have incredible creative capacity, and he’s on a mission to unlock inventive thinking and creative problem solving to help leaders, individuals, and communities soar.

He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million and is the author of four books including the New York Times Bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention. He has invested in and/or mentored over 100 startups and is the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Today, Josh serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is the recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, the father of four, is a professional-level jazz guitarist, and has a slightly odd obsession for greasy pizza.


Over the past 24 months, the world as we knew it was turned upside down. The COVID pandemic sent shock waves through our economy, supply chain, and workforce, ringing in a new era of accelerated transformation. The successful models of the past have been rendered obsolete, requiring leaders to rethink their strategy in this defining moment.

In this inspiring and actionable keynote experience, 5-time tech entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, venture capitalist, and world-renowned innovation expert Josh Linkner helps leaders respond to volatility with creative confidence. Exploring the core mindsets, habits, and tactics of the most innovative leaders on the planet, Linkner leaves audiences with an elevated capacity for inventive thinking and creative problem-solving through his battle-tested Reinvention Framework:

Reset. Pause, take inventory, and reassess. Recalibrate vision, goals, customer needs, market opportunity, regulatory environment, and competitive threats.

Release. Let go of existing assumptions and beliefs. Challenge conventional wisdom, defy traditional approaches, and reexamine previous models.

Reimagine. Spark fresh ideas using proven tools for creative problem solving and inventive thinking.

Redefine. Establish new rules of engagement. Retool existing approaches, models, and systems.

Realign. Reengage and reconnect key stakeholders (team, partners, customers, suppliers, media, investors) to the new reality.

Relaunch. Put new models into action intentionally while refining and readjusting in real time.

Reclaim. This deliberate framework will allow your organization and leaders to regain confidence, market leadership, and momentum.

BIG LITTLE BREAKTHROUGHS How small, everyday ideas drive gigantic results

The pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.

Instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus instead on Big Little Breakthroughs – small, creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By building a daily habit of creativity, leaders and organizations not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but also the daily practice of micro-innovations — the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs we seek.

How did a convicted drug dealer use a Big Little Breakthrough to launch and scale a massively successful fitness company? Why was a nurse practitioner able to use daily micro-innovations to solve healthcare problems that the biggest corporations couldn’t crack? How did a tattoo lead to a 30% boost in performance for a publicly traded restaurant company?

Big Little Breakthroughs isn’t just for propeller-head inventors, fancy pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Rather, it is a simple yet effective method for all of us to cultivate the power of human creativity. Focusing on a simple and deliberate approach to daily practice, the system enables people from all backgrounds, training, and walks of life to expand their creative skillset and mindset. It helps everyday individuals and leaders unlock inventive thinking and harness innovation to tackle tough challenges and seize bold opportunities.

The Big Little Breakthroughs framework provides a specific and practical approach to unlocking dormant creative capacity. Instead of wild, risky and expensive moonshots, participants learn to unleash small, daily creative acts to drive gigantic results over time. In fact, cultivating high volumes of micro-innovations not only de-risks the creative process, it builds the much-needed skills that lead to colossal transformations…and the creative confidence to take responsible risks.

FIND A WAY How creative problem solving can tackle any challenge

In uncertain times, we can no longer rely on the models of the past and expect the same results. Creative problem solving has long been the core ingredient in overcoming adversity and seizing new opportunities. In this inspiring keynote, participants will learn specific techniques and leave both energized and better equipped to conquer challenges and drive possibilities.

How can smaller organizations outpunch their competition and grow with limited resources? How can leaders bounce back and recover after facing painful setbacks? How can creative resilience be harnessed to conquer adversity?

In this high-energy session, participants will see how creative problem solving can become their most powerful resource. They’ll uncover specific techniques to unlock inventive thinking and win even against impossible odds.

THE 5 MINDSETS OF INNOVATION How the world’s most innovative leaders think and act

Having interviewed hundreds of top innovators, leaders and organizations around the world, New York Times bestselling author and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uncovered the five most powerful mindsets that are the building blocks for jaw-dropping innovation. In this high-energy keynote, your audience will learn to embrace these powerful approaches in order to conquer adversity and fuel growth.

How did an oddball idea save the cattle industry over $1 billion? How did a large hotel chain create a new revenue stream and drive competitive differentiation without investing a penny? How did the leaders of a small organization stave off a near-certain extinction, even when they were overwhelmingly outmatched by a powerful enemy?

Each mindset is reinforced through surprising, real-world examples, laugh out loud moments, and practical takeaways. The five mindsets are portable and can be applied immediately to any role, job function, or industry. This memorable session will leave your audience inspired, moved, and better equipped.

THE MUSIC OF BUSINESS Problem solving, collaboration and agility from the dangerous world of jazz music

Live jazz is an art form that equates to real-time innovation. To even navigate through a single song, jazz musicians must collaborate, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, and make decisions in the face of ambiguity. As the baton of leadership gets passed from one musician to the next, individual contributors are constantly course correcting, inventing, and creatively solving problems.

Sounds just like your organization, doesn’t it?

In this unique and memorable keynote, jazz guitarist and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uses a live musical performance as a metaphor for modern, innovative collaboration. Josh and his fellow musicians lead the audience on a musical journey, sharing an insider’s look at this stunning art form. Through the lens of a jazz musician, participants will gain a fresh perspective and new techniques for creative problem solving, improved collaboration, and real-time agility.

This mesmerizing session’s finale features live audience participation. After helping to ”compose” a new jazz song, three audience members join the band and perform their new composition live in front of their peers (no musical experience necessary). Participants are given handheld percussion instruments – along with some fun props and costumes – and together with Josh and his fellow musicians, the group performs for the audience. This live performance brings the key learning principles to life, always ending in a cheering crowd and terrific pictures for social media.

THE CREATIVITY UPGRADE Lead your team to the next level of innovation, growth, and sustainable success

On a regular basis, we upgrade our cars, software, and wardrobe. But when was the last time you upgraded your imagination? Isn’t it about time to give your team a boost of inventive thinking, creative problem solving, and everyday innovation to drive better outcomes?

From your upgrade, you will:

  1. Learn and understand the mindsets of innovators
  2. Grasp the need for – and urgency – of change
  3. Become inspired to take action and forge a new path
  4. Acquire specific techniques for creative problem solving
  5. Leverage human imagination to outpunch the competition
  6. Understand how and where to use inventive thinking to fuel growth
  7. Discover fresh possibilities with heightened level of creative awareness
  8. Recognize that we are all creative, and that everyday innovation is accessible for every role and job function
  9. Demystify the creative process
  10. Emerge with specific tools to close the Creativity Gap to achieve full potential
  11. Launch a new version of you – as a powerful creative force

In this inspiring keynote, Josh will help your team grow, as both business leaders and as people. Your audience will learn to solve problems in creative, non-traditional ways and expand their creative capacity to drive growth and sustainable success.

Your group will laugh hysterically, feel thoroughly energized, get deeply inspired, and leave better equipped. Now that’s an upgrade that’s simply irresistible.

THINK AND ACT LIKE A STARTUP How celebrity entrepreneurs generate game-changing solutions

Have you ever wondered how Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg think and act behind the scenes? How do the billionaire founders we revere invent bold ideas, do more with less, and change the world as a result? What would happen if the founder of Snapchat or Zoom joined your organization?

Tech startups aren’t the only ones who can think differently. We can all use this same creative thinking in our own careers, companies, and communities.

In this energizing and surprising keynote, five-time tech entrepreneur and venture capital investor Josh Linkner demystifies startup thinking and shares a specific methodology that we can put into practice immediately. Audience members will learn to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight. Participants get an insider’s look as Josh Linkner decodes startup thinking 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 their own organizations
  • 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
LIVE INTERACTIVE JAZZ (This is an add-on program to any of the above topics)

Performing jazz guitar at a professional level for over 30 years, Josh often incorporates live music into his keynote presentations. Using live jazz music as a metaphor for innovation, this interactive session is both memorable and impactful. In addition to his own live musical performance, Josh will hire two local musicians (upright bass and drums) to accompany him. The up-charge covers the cost of musicians, equipment, coordination, and all related details.

Picture this… the musicians will be on stage when Josh is introduced. As he takes the stage, he grabs his guitar and jumps right into a brief, attention-getting live jazz work. Next, Josh will ask the musicians to have a seat in the audience while he delivers a high-impact business innovation talk. For the last 20 minutes of the time slot, Josh bring the musicians back on stage and helps the audience see their own business challenges through the lens of a jazz musician. The session’s finale has the audience helping to compose a song in real-time. To help perform the new composition, Josh invites three audience members to jam with the band (he supplies percussion instruments and some costume flair). In addition to being highly entertaining, the audience gains a hands-on perspective on risk-taking, real-time innovation, collaboration, and improvisation. The experience is rich and engaging leaving audience members a memorable framework for driving results and crafting innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Please contact us to see testimonials.
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