• I speak and give workshops about entrepreneurship, building startups, funding, digital media technologies and related topics.

  • In years without global pandemics, I give between 25-40 speeches and workshops – as well as interviews for podcasts and video shows.
  • During 2020, most of my speaking topics and workshops will be given virtually – augmented by some fun interactive technologies.
 Here’s the overview of my speaking and workshop topics:


Think you know entrepreneurship?
Underneath our feet, the ground shifted. With networks, platforms, crowds, movements, and uncertain business models – all bets are off. Technology changed. Business changed. People changed, and Entrepreneurship changed.

Entrepreneurship is no longer just about “start your own business” or quitting your job or being your own boss.
In the 21st century, the rules have changed:  The rules for what success looks like, what an entrepreneur looks like, what they do and what resources they need to get started.

But worse – those old rules and techniques are still being taught by so-called experts. You’re being set up to fail.
Experience is no longer an automatic advantage. In fact, the more you thought you knew about business and entrepreneurship – the more likely you might fail.

Learn how the New Entrepreneurs of the 21st century thrive and succeed.

CJ Cornell,  6-time venture founder and serial entrepreneur, former venture capitalist, entrepreneurship professor, and bestselling author – takes you through a journey from the old to the new principles of modern entrepreneurship:
Speaking, Presentations and Workshops on topics such as:

  • Bootstrapping – what works, and what no longer works. Tips, Tricks and Techniques.
  • Chaos – do you really know what entrepreneurship and startups are anymore?
  • The side of entrepreneurship you never knew: What happens on “the other side of the table” – getting funding, funding companies. How your first customers think, your first partners, competitors, and first employees.
  • Cargo cults and fighting the last war: All about entrepreneurial ecosystems. How to build, play and thrive in your local startup community.
  • Solving the Guru Paradox – making age and experience work for you as a new entrepreneur.
  • Crowds, Clouds and Networks: Managing the new alchemy of entrepreneurship.
  • Your Startup Brain Trust: Mentors and Advisors – the Entrepreneur’s secret weapon. How to find them, or be them, and get the most out of the experience.
  • And more topics – around inclusion, marketing, building products and management.

You will learn how to be a more effective entrepreneur, how to shed the old outdated rules and leverage new tools. You’ll learn how to help other entrepreneurs, and how to build systems where entrepreneurs can thrive.

Master the new rules of modern entrepreneurship.

 Selected (Recent) Speaking Engagements (a partial list):
  • Speaker –  Angel and VC Funding – Galvanize, Phoenix AZ– Dec 2019
  • Presenter/Moderator –  Startup Mentors/Advisors  – Galvanize Phoenix Accelerator – Sept 2017
  • Speaker –  Phoenix Startup Week – February 2015
  • Keynote Speaker –  PayPal /Skysong Connect – April 2014
  • Speaker, Panelist  – Samsung Developer’s Conference –  October 2013
  • Keynote Speaker, Innovation Arizona – June 2013
  • Seminar Speaker, Funding for Entrepreneurs – Skysong Formation Space – Aug 2013
  • Keynote Speaker Arizona Business Incubator Association – May 2013
  • Keynote Speaker, AZEC12 (Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference) – 2012
  • Featured Panelist, Crowdfunding – TIECON-Southwest (Los Angeles) 2012
  • Keynote Speaker  Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 2010
  • Keynote Speaker, MIT Enterprise Forum, Phoenix, on Digital Media and Entrepreneurship. 2010
  • Speaker, TedX Phoenix 2009
  • Keynote Speaker, Leadership West Summit – May 2013
  • Workshop – Eureka Entrepreneurship Center, Arizona – July 2013
  • Chandler Economic Development Commission – June 2013
  • Surprise AZ Entrepreneurship Accelerator – August 2013
  • Keynote Speaker  MIT Enterprise Forum, Phoenix, on Game Theory & Gamification. 2011
  • Keynote Speaker  Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 2010
  • Keynote Speaker & Host to panel of notable entrepreneurs, meeting of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Phoenix, on Digital Media and Entrepreneurship. 2010
  • Speaker, “Building and Protecting Reputation 2010” Conference; Panel Moderator, “Understanding and Moderating the New Social Reputation” with VPs from Sony Corp, GoDaddy and the Phoenix Suns. 2010
  • Presenter, IPA Leadership Conference on “Social Media and Marketing”; Panel Member, the Future of Marketing Using Social Media. 2010
  • Moderator, Future of Consumer Media panel for Silicom [investor] Summit 2.0 – interviewed Google SVP Marissa Mayer, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers, Google founding board member Ram Shriram and AOL/ICQ founder Yoshi Verdi. 2009
  • Introduced former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as she announced her candidacy for governor of California. 2009
  • Co-Organizer, Future of Television Summit 2009
  • Co-Organizer, Consumer Media Summit 2007 
  • Co-Organizer, Investors Conference on Games and Gaming 2006
  • Speaker & Panelist, Kagan VOD (analyst) Summit 2002
  • Speaker & Panelist, Western Cable Show 2001
  • Panelist, Digital Hollywood, CTAM Summit, The National Show (NCTA), The National Association of Television Programmers, (NATPE), The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), IBC, International Broadcasting Conference, Arizona Technology Council, San Francisco Bay Area Startup Network.
  • Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.
  • Crowdfunding for Angel Investors.
  • Journalist as Entrepreneur / Journalism as Entrepreneurship (workshop for the ACP National College Journalism convention in Phoenix)
  • Marketing Strategy for New Ventures and New Products (seminar series)
  • Social Media/Social Networks – Serious Tools for Serious Business (90-minute webinar series hosted by the IPA – International Prepress Association)
  • Strategic Marketing (course and business seminar)
  • Social Media Marketing (webinar series)
  • Behavioral Media Marketing  (webinar and workshop)
  • Advanced Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing.
  • Practical Crowdfunding (creating and conducting successful crowdfunding campaigns)
  • Venture Funding for Growth Entrepreneurs.
  • Fundamentals of Venture Capital and Fundraising
  • Battlefield Strategy and Tactics (business seminar)
  • Techniques of Innovation and Creativity (workshop)
  • Entrepreneurial Product Development (course and workshop)
  • Predictive Analytics – Social Media’s Next Frontier  (webinar)
  • Effective Communications Skills for Managers  (workshop)  

Selected Speaking Topics

Modern Bootstrapping
  • The real bootstrap struggle – building startups in the Age of Metapreneurship.
  • Transforming a small business into a growth venture.
  • Startup funding – 2020 and beyond
  • Managing and thriving during uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • How to use competition to your advantage.
  • Avoiding the traps and disasters of the professional-turned-founder.
  • How to create a product and a company when you are not a technical founder
  • How to break the chicken and egg problems
  • How to create a start a venture without funding
  • Getting people to join your new venture when you have almost nothing
  • How to develop a tech product when you are not a tech person
  • getting market validation, when there’s really no obvious market yet
  • How to attract investors instead of begging for funding
 The side of entrepreneurship you never knew
  • Making the leap from corporate executive to growth entrepreneur
  • Being a non tech entrepreneur in a tech world
  • Startup Funding: the real behind the scenes process, pitfalls and paths to working with angels, VCs and other funding sources
  • What it’s like to get funded.
  • What it’s like to fund a company.
  • What it’s like to be “on the other side of the table” (and how the decisions are made)
  • What it’s like to have no competitors, a new growth market – it’s not what you think
 Solving “The Guru Paradox”
  • The Guru Paradox: Experience it can be a liability today.
  • Land of the Blind: The perils of being so smart that you’re the stupidest person in the room.
  • Who you were, how much you achieved, and how high you rose in your career is no longer relevant. It’s how connected you are, and how you can connect others,
  • The more experienced you are, the more the deck is stacked against you.
  • Learn how to leverage your experience in today’s fast paced startup world.
 Your Startup Brain Trust
  • Mentors, Advisors, Coaches, Consultants, Vultures, Angels and Saviors.
  • Learn about mentors, advisors – the good, the bad, the ugly, the old and the new.
  • Learn how to mentor, and how to find mentors, and how use them to as your secret, unfair advantage.
New Ecosystems
  • How your use your local entrepreneurial community to your advantage,
  • How to avoid “cargo cults” of entrepreneurship (trying to emulate success stories you’ve only seen from afar).
  • Avoiding T-Ball entrepreneurship (where everyone gets a trophy and applause, but no one ever really knocks it out of the park.
  • Understanding the new roles in today’s ecosystems – what your role is, and how to make it work for you.
 Networks and Crowds:
  • Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and even Crowd-companies. It’s just the beginning.
  • Learn how the crowdsourcing can lead to networked innovation and new business models.
  • Learn when to use crowdfunding (and when to avoid it at all costs).
  • Learn how to use crowds and the network for an extraordinary startup advantage.
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