Eric Lefkofsky is a serial entrepreneur who works at Tempus as the Chief Executive Officer. He is also the co-founder of InnerWorkings, Uptake, Groupon, Echo Global Logistics as well as a Chicago-based venture capital, Lightbank. Eric Lefkofsky began his career at the University of Michigan as a carpet vendor. After graduating from law school in 1993, Eric teamed up with Brad Keywell to start an apparel company, Brandon Apparel based in Madison, Wisconsin.
In 1999, the duo started Starbelly, an early internet company that specializes in promotional products. Over time, Starbelly experienced an exponential growth and was acquired by Halo Industries in 2000. Upon the acquisition, Eric Lefkofsky joined Halo Industries as the Chief Operating Officer. One year later, Halo Industries faced multiple lawsuits from shareholders and was subsequently declared bankrupt. That prompted him to explore other opportunities. In 2001, Eric Lefkofsky co-founded InnerWorkings to provide print procurement services for intermediate-sized companies. In 2006, InnerWorkings started trading in the U.S. Stock market. Eric Lefkofsky has been serving on the board of directors of InnerWorkings until October 2012.
Lefkofsky joined forces with Brad Keywell to start a freight logistics company, Echo Global Logistics, which attracted a series of D financing from one of the largest technology investors in the United States. Soon, Echo Global Logistics started trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol, ECHO. In 2006, the duo founded a media-buying technology company, MediaBank that provides advertisers with planning, accounting, and analysis software. A year later, MediaBank acquired Datatech, a premier provider of procurement and planning platforms in the marketing space. The US Department of Justice approved a $1.5 billion merger deal between Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank to form Mediaocean.
Eric Lefkofsky teamed up with his wife, Elizabeth, to establish a charitable trust, the Lefkofsky Foundation to support scientific, educational, and philanthropic initiatives around the world. The foundation focuses on children and has funded over 50 charitable organizations to date. In 2013, his wife joined him to start The Giving Pledge. He currently serves on the boards of directors of organizations such as The Museum of Science and Industry, Children’s Memorial Hospital, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Eric Lefkofsky is also a Trustee of a Chicago-based performing arts institute, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He also serves on the board of World Business Chicago as well as co-chairman of its Technology Council. Eric Lefkofsky was part of a committee that organized the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago in 2008.