Eric Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables.com, a web-based service that helps passionate people publish and share step-by-step tutorials for their hobbies, recipes, or other interests. Started in 2005, this community has over 100,000 projects, attracts an audience of 22 million unique visitors, and continues to grow. As the former CEO of Instructables, Wilhelm is now the director of communities at Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, which acquired Instructables in 2011. He now builds communities for Autodesk's consumer-level tools.
He is a successful entrepreneur who has started five companies including the innovation and design partnership Squid Labs, Makani, an energy company seeking to harness high-altitude wind, which was acquired by Google, and companies working on portable energy generation and health care.
He received his bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT. He has been recognized as a top innovator under 35 by Technology Review Magazine and a top innovator reinventing the American dream by Popular mechanics, and was awarded the National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Award for the development of a printing technique used to create patterns in films of nanoparticles or polymers.
He has competed in an ultra-marathon, flown 75 feet in the air under a kite-powered contraption of his own design, built a climbing wall in his house, and works from a homemade treadmill desk.