Entrepreneur, educator and philanthropist Eric Lefkofsky is a very busy man. Since 1993 while attending the University of Michigan, he has founded a series of companies many of which are internationally known. He began by selling carpet on campus. Then, after graduating from law school at the University of Michigan, he got together with classmate Brad Keywell and purchased Brandon Apparel, a Madison, Wisconsin based apparel company. Lefkofsky then created an early internet company called Starbelly that offered a range of promotional products. He sold the company at a huge profit in 2000.
Beginning in 2001 Lefkofsky and Keywell co-founded a group of companies that have been wildly successful. The first of those was a print procurement services company called InnerWorkings. Lefkofsky and Keywell formed Echo Global Logistics, a freight logistics company, in 2005. The company is still successfully publicly traded on NASDAQ and other markets. MediaBank was the next company Lefkofsky and Keywell founded. They started the media-buying technology company in 2006. They sold it in 2012 for $1.5 billion.
In 2007 Eric Lefkofsky joined with Andrew Mason to co-found what would become his best known company. At its founding the online collective action website was called ThePoint.com. The company’s name was changed to Groupon.com the next year. Investors poured money into Groupon.com and by 2010 it had a valuation of $1.35 billion. In August of 2010 Groupon was declared the fastest growing company ever formed.
That year Lefkokfsky and Keywell also created Lightbank, a venture capital firm designed to help develop Chicago area disruptive technology development companies. In 2014 Lefkofsky co-founded the predictive analytics firm Uptake, LLC.
Eric Lefkofsky co-founded a technology company in 2016 called Tempus. The company has received lots of praise and public attention because the operating system it has built helps doctors to deliver personalized care for patients battling cancer. It is considered a major breakthrough in the field of cancer research. While his companies have enjoyed great success, Lefkofsky has been busy finding ways to give back to the community. He and Liz his wife created the private charitable organization the Lefkofsky Family Foundation in 2006. He also volunteers with numerous Chicago-based organizations and joined The Giving Pledge in 2013.
Somehow Lefkofsky still found time to write Accelerated Disruption, a book on how technology impacts business, and teach at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University and other Chicago area business schools.