Eric Lefkofsky was raised in Michigan by a school teacher and a structural engineer. He graduated from high school in 1987 and began attending the University of Michigan. He graduated from the university in 1991 with honors, later receiving his Juris Doctor from the same university in 1993.
After graduating from law school, he partnered up with a college friend, Brad Keywell. The pair borrowed money from their family members to begin their successful entrepreneurship. They bought Brandon Apparel, a Wisconsin apparel company. Six years later, the same duo created Starbelly, an early internet company. Starbelly specialized in promotional products and experienced quick internet growth. The company was sold to Halo Industries in 2000, where Eric Lefkofsky joined as their Chief Operating Officer.
After the success of Starbelly, Lefkofsky co-founded a print procurement services company in 2001, InnerWorkings. Experiencing success year after year, InnerWorkings had a successful initial public offering in NASDAQ. He sat on the board of directors until 2012. A few short later, in 2005, the famed duo was back at it again, creating Echo Global Logistics. Echo was a freight logistics company that attracted one of the largest technology investors in the nation.
In 2006, Lefkofsky and his long-time partner founded a media-buying technology company, MediaBank. In 2007, the company acquired Datatech and attracted the same, large investor as Echo Global Logistics. In 2012, a merger between MediaBank and Donovan was approved by the US Department of Justice. This deal was an estimated $1.5 billion.
Lefkofsky provided $1 million in funding for a startup company in 2007, ThePoint.com. This was an online collective action website that later changed its name to Groupon.com in 2008. In 2013, Lefkofsky became the company’s CEO. Groupon raised record breaking money from investors, becoming the fastest growing company in history according the Forbes.
In 2010, Lefkofsky and Keywell founded a new venture firm in Chicago that would help new companies, Lightbank. In 2014, Lefkofsky founded an analytics company, Uptake, LLC. Then, in 2016, he co-founded Tempus, a company that creates technology that delivers personalized cancer care to patients.
In addition to his business ventures, Lefkofsky is an active philanthropist who is involved in the community. He founded a charitable trust alongside his wife, the Lefkofsky Foundation. This foundation provides funding to organizations that provide educational, scientific, and charitable services all over the world. The Lefkofsky Foundation has helped over 50 organizations with necessary funds.