Eric Lefkofsky is one of Chicago’s most prominent and prolific entrepreneurs, co-founder and chairman of Groupon and a managing partner at venture-capital firm Lightbank. In 2015, he launched cancer-fighting startup Tempus with his Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell.
Tempus aims to facilitate personalized cancer care through the use of genomic data and analytics. For the time being, the startup is focused on creating a database and corresponding operating system to manage the type of health information. The results of the data analysis may help guide physicians in deciding which treatment options to pursue.
The company’s office includes a genomic sequencing lab in its River North headquarters that it says can process more than 50,000 patients annually. In January 2017, Tempus announced its partnership with Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, in which the startup plans to complete molecular sequencing and analysis for 1,000 Mayo Clinic patients. This is one of many partnerships the genomics startup has secured with institutions of the like, including Duke University School of Medicine, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic.
Before Tempus, Lefkofsky invested in Groupon when it was still The Point, a startup founded by Andrew Mason that focused on organizing collective action. It was Lefkofsky who pushed Mason to find a way to make money on his idea, and the pursuit of a revenue model led to the creation of the daily deals juggernaut. He took over as CEO in 2013 after the ouster of Mason and stayed in the role until November 2015, when he was replaced by former Groupon COO Rich Williams.
He is also a co-founder with Keywell of venture capital firm Lightbank and of several technology companies, including InnerWorkings, Echo Global Logistics, Mediaocean, a provider of media software, Uptake, a predictive analytics company.
Lefkofsky is a trustee of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and a co-chairman of Chicago Ideas Week.
In 2006, he and his wife, Liz, founded the Lefkofsky Family Foundation. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received his JD from University of Michigan Law School