Eric Lefkofsky: A Prolific Entrepreneur, Educator And Philanthropist

Eric Lefkofsky is a prolific entrepreneur. He has co-founded a large number of companies. They include Tempus, Groupon, Uptake, Echo Global Logistics, Mediaocean, InnerWorkings and Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture capital firm. Lefkofsky grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. As an undergraduate he started selling carpet on campus. After graduation Leifkofsky and college classmate Brad Keywell bought the Madison, Wisconsin apparel company Brandon Apparel. It was the first of many companies they would co-found.

In 1999 the duo created the internet company Starbelly. It specialized in promotional products. They sold the company a year later at a significant profit. In fall 2001 Lefkofsky and Keywell co-founded the print procurement service InnerWorkings which has been highly successful. Lefkofsky and Keywell next co-founded Echo Global Logistics, a very successful freight logistics company in 2005. In 2006 they co-founded the media-buying technology company MediaBank. Lefkofsky got together with Andrew Mason and co-founded the online collective action website called ThePoint.com, which became Groupon in 2008. By mid-2010 Groupon was declared the world’s fastest growing company ever by Forbes.

Lefkokfsky and Keywell founded Lightbank in 2010, analytics company Uptake in 2014 and technology company Tempus in 2016. Tempus has created technology which helps physicians provide cancer patients with personalized care. Lefkofsky and his wife founded the Lefkofsky Foundation, a charitable trust in 2006. The Lefkofsky Foundation provides funding for over 50 organizations. The Lefkofsky’s also joined The Giving Pledge in 2013. Eric Lefkofsky is on the board of directors of Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.

A trustee on the Chicago-based performing arts institution Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a World Business Chicago board member and co-chairman the WBC Technology Council, Lefkofsky still finds time to teach and write. He’s been teaching at several Chicago area business schools for many years. Lefkofsky taught Applied Technology at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business of DePaul University. He also taught a disruptive business models course at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Lefkofsky is an adjunct professor with the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He teaches building technology-based businesses and entrepreneurship.

Eric Lefkofsky wrote a book on how technology affects business called Accelerated Disruption published by Easton Studio Press. It allows him to share important ideas with a new generation of budding entrepreneurs.

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