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The best way to predict your future is to create it. 

My Talks


We are all surrounded by creative people with big ideas based on howling hurts of other. Healing those hurts starts with clearly defining the problems and then iterating to compelling solutions.

Mining Diamonds In Your Backyard
Finding the big ideas of creative people all around you


Leaders in corporations, entrepreneurial companies, not-for-profits, and educational institutions often find it hard to attract talent and resources to support game-changing ideas. The best leaders solve the problem in a similar way, balancing the creative tension of thinking outside-the-box while being accountable for results.

Being Accountably Creative
Attracting talent and resources to change the world


All organizations are surrounded by creative people. Too often this creativity is squandered… ruthlessly. The most successful organizations nurture the creative potential of everyone in and around their organization, allowing organizations to back the winners without knowing who the winners will be.

Cultivating Intuition
Harvesting the most creative ideas in your organization


  • An inspiring keynote presentation customized for the audience based on the themes above.

  • A practical workshop with attendees interested in leaving with a written framework to attract the talent and resources they need.

  • A meeting with top executives about systematically nurturing a portfolio of creative ideas using this framework to back the winners.

My Involvement In Your Event
Can be one or more of these ways with tangible results

My Talks
About Me

About Me

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I have a lifetime of great experience as a serial innovator in corporations, entrepreneurial companies, universities, not-for-profits, and government agencies.

I founded what became one of the country’s largest angel groups investing in entrepreneurial companies. I was Chairman of one of the country’s largest organic grocery store chains. I was the lead investor in an entrepreneurial company and a senior executive of a global corporation which both were leaders in their segments in the electronics industry. I was a part of a community discussion that lead to the founding of the premier graduate engineering school in its field. I was a founding board member of an arts festival that is now one of the top ten of its type in the country and of a start-up government agency that attracted venture capital investment to a state that had very little. Learn more about my extensive experience through my LinkedIn profile

My Testimonials

My Testimonials

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John did an excellent job as a Keynote Speaker at the Innovation for Business and Manufacturing Summit .I highly recommend using John for your corporate event or conference.

Lee Stogner

Managing Partner

Vincula Group

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John understands that innovation isn’t just about brilliant individuals. He knows how bringing together people and organisations gives the resonance that makes innovation work.

Nigel Clarke
Co-Chair, UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership, Executive Chairman, Ultra Micro Transit Systems Ltd

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In working with John  I found he has the ability to not only visualize an innovative solution but to execute to commercially launch it into the market.

Amit Mehta
Founder and CEO of Elevare Systems AI and former Vice President - New Initiatives 
Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited

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John’s keynote address at our Ingenuity Fair complemented our agenda and set the stage for a successful event. His relevant, real life examples motivated our employees to challenge the status quo and co-create new innovative solutions with our business partners.

Marcy Thompson
Retired Vice President, Marketing & Innovation of Sonoco

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John has been a thought-leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge-base economies long before most of us even thought about these concepts. He continues to develop and advocate for creative ideas in these areas for industry, academia, and the public sector.

Dr. Chris Przirembel
Clemson University Vice President Emeritus for Research and Economic Development

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John is a great educator and communicator who knows both theory and practical details of turning an idea into a high tech start-up. He was essential in starting Hoowaki. He knows how to nurture innovation in organizations of all sizes.

Ralph Hulseman
CEO of Hoowaki and former VP of External Research for Michelin

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John presented to the GEO-ENERGY-CYBER Huntsville Summit about problems and traps that innovators and entrepreneurs face. He spoke from experience, provided excellent insights and advice, and engaged everyone with interesting and relevant stories.

Dr. Caron St. John
Professor Emerita and former Dean, University of Alabama in Huntsville  

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John has deep knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation. His on-the-ground practical advice has been invaluable to me in founding my company multiple times. I am a big fan of John. 

Srikanth Kodeboyina
Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Eye Soft

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John understands building innovation ecosystems from years of deep experience. With thoughtful reflections and personal insights, John allows listeners to think, laugh and take away key concepts for innovation.

Dr. Kristie Byrum, APR,
Fellow PRSA
Associate Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

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I have known John for over three decades and have heard him speak on many occasions regarding innovation.  John is inspiring, energizing, and entertaining with the ability to get his listeners to think about tomorrow and beyond.

Ray Lattimore
Founder and CEO of Marketplace Staffing

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I’ve known and worked with John for 20 years. He’s one of the most knowledgeable and visionary thinkers in innovation-driven economic development there is.

Dr. John Ballato
Clemson University Professor, JE Sirrine Endowed Research Chair, and former VP for Research and Economic Development

My Radio Updates

Radio Updtes
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I've provided weekly innovation updates on South Carolina Public Radio for twenty years. My recent four-part series included being:





Contact Me

Click to email me​ 
(My preferred initial contact.)


Or text me at 864-561-6609
(Texting is better
than calling initially.)

Connect on LinkedIn

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