Eric Lefkofsky is an extremely successful American entrepreneur, known for founding many companies and being an active philanthropist. He grew up in Michigan, graduating from Southfield-Lathrup High School in 1987. He immediately attended the University of Michigan after graduating from high school, earning his undergraduate degree in 1991 and his Juris Doctor in 1993.
After graduation, he teamed up with college friend Brad Keywell. Together, they borrowed money from various relatives to buy Wisconsin-based apparel company, Brandon Apparel. This would be the beginning of a very successful, profitable partnership.
The duo moved on in 1999 to create Starbelly, an early internet company. They quickly achieved success and the company was sold to Halo Industries in 2000. After staying on as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Eric Lefkofsky moved on in 2001 to co-found InnerWorkings. This company provided print procurement services to mid-sized companies and achieved the same quick success as Starbelly. InnerWorkings entered the U.S. stock market in 2006 for its initial public offering.
In 2005, the team was at it again, creating Echo Global Logistics. This freight logistics company quickly attracted financing from one of the largest investors in the country, New Enterprise Associates. One year later, Lefkofsky and Keywell founded another company named MediaBank. This media-buying technology company also attracted financing from New Enterprise Associates and merged with Donovan Data Systems to create Mediaocean in 2012. Based on forbes.com.
Just a year after founding MediaBank, Lefkofksy funded and co-founded and funded a new online collective action website called ThePoint.com. In 2008, the company changed its name to Groupon.com and after just three years, Forbes reported that Groupon had become the fastest growing company in history.
In 2010, Eric Lefkofsky and his partner founded Lightbank, a new venture firm focused on developing new companies in the Chicago area. He went on to found Uptake, LLC in 2014 and Tempus in 2016. Tempus.com is a technology company that helps doctors give patients personalized cancer care.
Eric Lefkofsky founded the Lefkofsky Foundation in 2006, alongside his wife Elizabeth. This foundation supports charitable, education, and scientific organizations from all over the world by assisting with funding. The foundation has been involved in helping more than 50 organizations since its founding.