Amy Wilkinson


Research Statement

Amy Wilkinson’s research spans studies of entrepreneurial leadership in both large and small companies as well as organizational innovation.

Research Interests

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate Innovation
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Venture Capital


Amy Wilkinson is a Lecturer in Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, founder and CEO of Ingenuity, and author of “The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs.” She advises executives, investors, and startup founders around the world on how to master the skills that underlie entrepreneurial success. Wilkinson’s career spans leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, J.P. Morgan and as founder of Alegre, a foreign-based export company. She has also served in The White House as a Senior Advisor to the United States Trade Representative and a White House Fellow.

Fascinated by how leaders must reinvent their approaches to excel in an entrepreneurial age, Wilkinson interviewed 200 of today’s top entrepreneurs including the founders of Airbnb, LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Yelp, Dropbox, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Chipotle, Under Armour, Spanx, JetBlue, and Revolution Foods to distill what it takes to go from start-up to scale in our rapidly changing economy. She conducted this work while a senior fellow at Harvard University and public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded Wilkinson a grant for her groundbreaking research on high growth entrepreneurs.

Wilkinson has been a keynote speaker for corporations, institutes, and universities around the world. Recent speaking events include the Google, Microsoft, IBM, Porsche, BMW, Hearst, MRM McCann, Oracle, TD Ameritrade, World Economic Forum at Davos, Milken Global, NACD, CES, TEDx, National Governors Association, and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

She is an expert on leadership and small business for The Wall Street Journal and Chairman of the Board of consumer technology company Grover. Wilkinson earned BA, MA, and MBA degrees from Stanford University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a 2015 Eisenhower Fellow

Academic Degrees

  • BA, Stanford University
  • MA, Stanford University
  • MBA, Stanford GSB

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2015-present
  • Senior Fellow, Harvard KSG, 2009-2014

Professional Experience

  • Founder & CEO, Ingenuity, 2017-present
  • Author & Advisor, The Creator’s Code, 2015-present
  • Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Intl Center for Scholars, 2008-2015
  • White House Fellow & Senior Advisor, US Trade Representative, 2004-2007
  • Strategy Consultant, McKinsey & Company, 2002-2004
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Banker, JP Morgan & Company, 1997-2000
  • Founder & CEO, Alegre, 1996-2000

Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Fellow, American Academy in Berlin, 2018
  • Eisenhower Fellow, Eisenhower Fellowships Program, 2015
  • Kauffman Grantee, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2013
  • Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2013
  • White House Fellow, White House Fellowship Program, 2004-2005


Journal Articles

Amy Wilkinson. Wilson Quarterly. 2009, Vol. Winter.
Amy Wilkinson. Stanford Social Innovation Review. 2009, Vol. 7, Issue 4.



Degree Courses


Why do large, successful companies often have such difficulty in disrupting themselves (e.g., Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders)? How do you maintain an entrepreneurial edge within an existing enterprise? How do you sustain core businesses while...


Why do large, successful companies often have such difficulty in disrupting themselves (e.g., Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders)? How do you maintain an entrepreneurial edge within an existing enterprise? How do you sustain core businesses while...

How do some people turn ideas into enterprises that endure? Why do some people succeed why so many others fail? Based on more than 200 interviews with leading entrepreneurs conducted over the past five years by Amy Wilkinson, this course will...

Stanford University Affiliations

Service to the Profession

Graduate School of Education

  • Science of Innovation Lecture (2018)

GSB Executive Education

  • General Motors Program Lecture (2017)
  • Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Initiative Lecture (2017)

GSB Alumni Weekend

  • Featured Faculty (2017 & 2016)

Board of Directors

  • Current, Chairman of the Board, Grover

Advisory Board

  • Former, Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations (Term Member Program)

Insights by Stanford Business

December 9, 2019
Hear career advice from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella or learn how to build your startup team.
March 6, 2019
Stanford GSB faculty reveal the art of engineering entrepreneurialism within existing organizations.
March 1, 2019
The spark needed to ignite your next idea may be half a world away.
October 31, 2017
Founders at companies like Tesla, Paypal, and Airbnb all have traits in common. Learn what six skills they share.