Renowned author, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Josh Linkner to speak at 7th annual Ethos Luncheon at EMU on April 12

by Geoff Larcom, Published March 19, 2013

YPSILANTI – Josh Linkner recoils from the status quo.

He says that believing the future will resemble the past is the fast road to obsolescence in today's economy. Thus, learning to systematically jump start the creative energy of individuals at all levels of your organization is essential to finding new routes to growth.

Linkner, the CEO/Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners and a regular contributor for The Detroit Free Press, will be the speaker for the seventh annual Ethos Luncheon, to be held at Eastern Michigan University from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, April 12 in the McKenny Hall Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the EMU College of Business.

Linkner, an energetic and insightful speaker who has offered his perspective around the world, is on a mission to help organizations unleash their creative mojo. 

He maintains it's better to disrupt your organization before your competition does. Linkner shows how to accomplish this with clear and doable insights that are based on his own experience and lessons from some of the world's best-known brands. 

Among his ideas, expressed on his website,

  • Get unstuck - break free from myths and barriers to unleash creativity.
  • Tap into the hidden brainpower throughout the entire organization.
  • Establish an ongoing system to nurture and harvest the best ideas.
  • Increase the ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • Apply focused creativity to specific business problems of all sizes and shapes.

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, according to Linkner's website. 

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 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 hometown of Detroit. 

Linkner is a regular contributor to Forbes and Inc. magazines and his work has been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times. The Detroit Free Press recently began regularly running a column by Linkner.

This year's Ethos Luncheon at EMU continues a strong tradition of bringing renowned and insightful speakers to Eastern in honor of the College of Business' strong emphasis on business ethics.

Previous Ethos Luncheon speakers have included Barb McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, whose office recently successfully prosecuted former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a historic corruption case, and Anton Valukas, the lead attorney in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case.



Geoff Larcom


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