Eric Lefkofsky is an entrepreneur who grew up in Michigan. His mother was a school teacher and his father was a structural engineer. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Michigan where he obtained his undergraduate degree and his Juris Doctor. After college, he experienced his first taste of entrepreneurship when he teamed up with his college friend to buy an apparel company in Wisconsin.
The two would move on to create Starbelly in 1999, an early internet company. Starbelly was sold to Halo Industries in 2000 after experiencing quick success. Lefkofksy then co-founded InnerWorkings in 2001. This print procurement services company would also experience quick success and had a successful initial public offering in 2006.
In 2005, Lefkofsky and his friend Keywell founded Echo Global Logistics, a freight logistics company that received financing from one of the largest technology investors in the U.S., New Enterprise Associates. In 2006, they founded a media-buying technology company, MediaBank. MediaBank acquired one of the largest platforms in the industry, Datatech. New Enterprise Associates came through for funding again and a merger between Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank would occur in 2012, creating Mediaocean.
A year after creating MediaBank, Lefkofsky funded a new online collective action website with his own money and would help launch it. ThePoint.com changed its name to Groupon.com in 2008, becoming the fastest growing company in history within 3 years. In 2013, Eric Lefkofsky became Groupon’s CEO, stepping down to Chairman in 2015.
In 2012 Lefkofsky and Keywell founded Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture firm. In 2014, Lefkofsky moved on to found Uptake, LLC and in 2016, he founded Tempus. Tempus is a technology company that gives doctors the ability to give cancer patients personalized care. Eric Lefkofsky is the company’s CEO.
Eric Lefkofsky is a successful entrepreneur, but also an active philanthropist. He founded the Lefkofsky Foundation in 2006 alongside his wife to help support charitable causes from all over the world that support educational and scientific causes. The foundation has helped to fund more than 50 organizations since its founding. He is also a member of the Giving Pledge.
Lefkofsky sits on the board of directors at organizations like The Museum of Science and Industry, the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and The Art Institute of Chicago. He is one of World Business Chicago’s board members and is a Trustee at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.