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Founder, Lean Startup Movement

Steve Blank: Biography at a Glance

  • Credited with creating the customer development method that launched the Lean Startup movement
  • Bestselling author of “The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company “
  • Hosts “Entrepreneurs Are Everywhere” on SiriusXM
  • Named one of the “12 Masters of Innovation” by the Harvard Business Review
Founder, Lean Startup Movement

Steve Blank has led one heck of an interesting life. He’s had three careers: First, in the U.S. Air Force for four years during the Vietnam War. Next, as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in 8 startups in two decades (with four IPOs). Currently as an academic teaching at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and NYU.

Steve has changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught worldwide; how science is commercialized in the U.S., and how companies and the government innovate. He is the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, credited with launching the Lean Startup movement and the best-selling Startup Owner’s Manual. His May 2013 Harvard Business Review cover story on the Lean Startup defined the Lean Startup movement.

Steve is widely recognized as a thought leader on startups and innovation. Named to the Thinkers50 list of top management thinkers and recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of "12 Masters of Innovation," Steve is also Senior Fellow for Entrepreneurship at Columbia University.

His Lean LaunchPad class at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia is taught in more than 75 universities around the globe. More than 300,000 people have signed up for a free version of the class, offered through The Innovation Corps class Steve created for the National Science Foundation is the standard for science commercialization in the U.S. And his Hacking for Defense class at Stanford is revolutionizing how the U.S. defense and intelligence community can deploy innovation with speed and urgency.

A prolific writer, speaker and teacher, Steve hosts Entrepreneurs are Everywhere, a weekly radio show on SiriusXM, showcasing founders from all walks of life sharing what it takes to build a successful startup. He blogs at and his articles regularly appear in Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic and Huffington Post.

His talk “The Secret History of Silicon Valley” has become the standard history of why entrepreneurship blossomed in Silicon Valley while stillborn elsewhere. It has made him an unofficial expert and frequent speaker on the rise of entrepreneurial clusters as well as the role of the U.S. government and military’s influence on entrepreneurship.

From 2006-2013 Steve served as a public official in California as Commissioner on the California Coastal Commission, the public body that regulates land use and public access on the California coast. He is on the board of the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV); is a past board member of Audubon California, the Peninsula Open Space Land Trust (POST); and was a trustee of U.C. Santa Cruz.

Steve is a frequent commencement speaker. National Public Radio listed his speech at Philadelphia University as one of the best commencement speeches, ever.


“Best fireside chat we’ve ever heard. My company learned a lot about dealing with disruption. We made changes right after the conference.”

CEO, Fortune 1000 Company

“Steve really helped define the role of Chief Innovation Officer and how to think about an innovation pipeline.”

Chief Innovation Officer, Fortune 1000 Company

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