Eric Lefkofsky is a renowned American entrepreneur as well as the co-founder of Tempus. He is also the co-founder of Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture capital. Mr. Lefkofsky began his entrepreneurial journey as a carpet vendor at the University of Michigan. Shortly after graduating in 1993, he partnered with Brad Keywell to acquire Brandon Apparel, an apparel company based in Madison, Wisconsin.
In 1999, the duo started an early Internet company, Starbelly, which specialized in promotional products. Over time, Starbelly experienced exponential growth and was sold to Hallo Industries in 2000. Upon the merger, Lefkofsky joined Halo Industries as the Chief Operating Officer. Afterwards, the company went bankrupt. It faced several lawsuits from stakeholders, but they were all resolved by 2004.
In 2011, Lefkofsky started InnerWorkings, a company that provided print procurement services to mid-sized businesses. InnerWorks began trading in the U.S. stock market in 2006. Lefkofsky served on the board of InnerWorkings until October 2012. Lefkofsky and Keywell started Echo Global Logistics, a freight logistics company. In 2006, Echo received financing from New Enterprise Associates, the leading technology investor in the U.S. In the fall of 2006, Echo Global Logistics started trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol ECHO. They went ahead to found MediaBank, a media technology company that provides advertisers with accounting, planning, and analysis software. In 2007, MediaBank merged with Datatech, a premier provider of procurement and planning software in the advertising industry.
Besides entrepreneurship, Eric Lefkofsky has interest in charity work. He teamed up with his wife, Elizabeth, to form a charitable trust to support charitable and educational causes around the world. Their foundation focuses on children. Eric Lefkofsky serves on the board of The Art Institute Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After launching InnerWorkings successfully, Eric began a teaching career at a Chicago business school. He previously taught applied Technology at Kellog School of Management. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Chicago Booth School of Business where he teaches a course on building technology-based businesses and entrepreneurship. Eric Lefkofsky was part of the committee that brought the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago.