High-profile serial entrepreneur Josh Linkner is launching a new startup with the goal of disrupting the business leadership development space, Fuel Leadership
Linkner has made a name for himself by molding tech firm ePrize (now known as HelloWorld
) from launch to acquisition and co-founding downtown Detroit-based venture capital firm Detroit Venture Partners
. He is also the author of two New York Times bestsellers, "Disciplined Dreaming
" and "The Road to Reinvention
," which focus on innovation in entrepreneurship.
Fuel Leadership promises to be in a similar vein. The startup's debut press release describes itself as "disrupting the stale, low-quality, expensive and time-draining leadership development business model by delivering bold and high-octane one-day conferences offering timely and relevant topics by superstar speakers, fused with a year-long subscription to proprietary online leadership development content."
"I just think the model is broken," Linkner says. "The bottom line is the whole thing (leadership development conference today) is expensive, time-consuming, and low-quality."
Fuel Leadership's secret sauce is maximizing time and providing support over time. The startup will bring one-day, high-impact conferences focused on leadership training to a variety of cities across the U.S., so executives won't have to lose days to travel. The first, on April 13th, will be held at MotorCity Casino and feature guests like Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Ford CEO Mark Fields
. Two more yet-to-be-announced conferences will be held across the U.S. later in the year. Fuel Leadership plans to hire between 6 and 8 people next year, eventually working his way up to a staff of between 30 and 40 in the U.S. and abroad.
The other part of Fuel Leadership’s equation is offering support to those who participate in a conference through a year-long membership in Fuel Online
. The online resource offers a plethora of learning materials on leadership, including 5,000 videos, 500 archived webinars, CEO interviews, and book summaries.
The downtown Detroit-based startup currently employs four people and currently is looking to hire sales professionals and project managers. Linkner expects those number to increase significantly over the next year.
"We are going to be ramping up in the coming months," Linkner says.
Source: Josh Linkner, chairman of Fuel Leadership
Writer: Jon Zemke