Eric Lefkofsky is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs in America. He is in total co-founders of seven companies. The seven companies are namely Tempus, Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, InnerWorkings, Mediaocean, Uptake and Lightbank. According to Yahoo Finance, he is currently the CEO of Tempus and Chairman of Groupon.
Lefkofsky had an entrepreneurial and business mind since the early start of his career when he sold carpets during his years at the University of Michigan. After he completed his law studies in 1993, Lefkofsky and his friend Brand Keywell bought an apparel company in Madison, Wisconsin by borrowing money from relatives. In 1999 Lefkofsky and Keywell started another business venture when they started Starbelly which dealt with internet promotional products. Starbelly had a booming start and grew exponentially. They sold the flourishing company to Halo Industries after which Lefkofsky joined Halo as the Chief Operating Officer. However, after few years the company became bankrupt.
After the downfall Starbelly, Lefkofsky went on to co-found InnerWorkings in 2001. InnerWorkings is a pure marketing firm which serves about 500 brands belonging to various types of industries. The company has its branches across, North America, South America, Europe and Asia. In 2005, Lefkofsky and Keywell founded the Echo Global Logistics or Echo which offers web-based technology supported transportation and supply chain management services. Echo was successful in attracting a major client New Enterprise Associates which is the large tech investor of the U.S.
In January 2007, Lefkofsky gave about $1,000,000 to Andrew Mason for starting the online e-commerce marketplace ThePoint.com which is now famous as Groupon. The e- commerce marketplace connects its subscribers with the merchants by providing activities, travel and various services all across 28 countries.
Lefkofsky has been involved in millions of dollars of charities for cancer patients. After leaving Groupon, he is now completely focused on building a health tech startup for modernizing and accelerating the cancer cure. The company is helping doctors to make smart and accurate decisions based on analyzing personalized data and genetic codes of the patients using cutting edge sequencing of genomes. Tempus helps in the better analyzing of the genetic code by using statistical analysis to provide more accurate and personalized medication. Currently, Tempus is working with breast, lung and pancreatic cancers with more plans to expand options.
Lefkofsky (http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/eric.lefkofsky/portfolio.html) is a well-known philanthropist and donated about $1.2 million to University of Michigan for research in cancer, $250,000 to New York’s Weill Corner Medicine, $500,000 to support gastric cancer research at Stanford University.
Lefkofsky also is an excellent teacher and loves teaching in business schools. He taught disruptive business models at De Paul University and Kellogg School of Management. He is also the author of the book “Accelerated Disruption” which deals with disruptive businesses. The book mainly deals with how young, vibrant startups can go downhill because of challenges of fast technology in spite of the brilliant ideas behind them. In the book, he has discussed various potent mantras on how to deal with the fast growing technology in future so that you can keep your company thriving.
Eric Lefkofsky is an entrepreneur who has founded a multitude of companies. He has co-founded companies like Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, Mediaocean, Uptake, InnerWorkings, and Tempus.
He was born and raised in Michigan by his mother, a teacher, and his father, a structural engineer. After high school, he went to college at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with honors in 1991. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor in 1993 from the University of Michigan Law School.
Shortly after graduating, he joined with a friend, Brad Keywell, to being their entrepreneurial journey. With money borrowed from family members, they bought a Wisconsin apparel company named Brandon Apparel. Six years later, the duo founded their very first company, an early Internet company named Starbelly. The company specialized in promotional products and experienced quick growth. Starbelly was sold to Halo Industries just a short year later. Lefkofsky also joined Halo as its Chief Operating Officer.
Lefkofsky went on to found InnerWorkings in 2001. The company provided mid-sized companies with print procurement services and continuously experienced growth. InnerWorkings experienced a very successful public offering in the stock market in 2006. Lefkofsky sat on the board of directors there until 2012.
In 2005, the same duo co-founded Echo Global Logistics, a freight logistics company. They attracted financing from New Enterprise Associates in 2006 and is currently being successfully traded on NASDAQ. In 2006, yet another company was created: MediaBank. This was a media buying company that also attracted financing by New Enterprise Associates. In 2012, MediaBank merged with Donovan Data Systems, in an estimated $1.5 billion deal.
Just a year later, in 2007, he co-founded another company, ThePoint.com. He also provided funding for the company, which was an online collective action website that would become Groupon.com in 2008. In 2009, the company raised $30 million in investment funding and in 2010, Forbes claimed that it was the fastest growing company in history.
In 2010, Lefkofsky and his partner, Keywell, created an even newer adventure, called Lightbank. This was a venture firm that would help develop new companies in the Chicago area. Four years later, Lefkofsky founded Uptake LLC, an analytics company.
In 2016, Lefkofsky took on a new adventure. He co-founded the company, Tempus, where he sits as its CEO. Tempus is a technology company that allows physicians to give cancer patients personalized care by an interactive learning platform. They provide genome sequencing services that empowers doctors to make data-driven decisions.
Aside from his many career-driven ventures, Eric Lefkofsky is also involved in his community and in many philanthropic affairs. In 2006, alongside his wife, he created a charitable trust named the Lefkofsky Foundation. This foundation serves many charitable, scientific, and educational organizations around the globe by helping to fund them.
Lefkofsky sits on the board of directors at many organizations including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, and the Children’s Memorial Hospital. He is also a board member of World Business Chicago and a Trustee at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
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