Eric Lefkofsky’s experiences as an entrepreneur stretch back to his college days at the University of Michigan. There, he sold carpet in his first ever business. This started in his freshman year. At the University he earned a bachelor of Arts/Science before continuing his education at Law School and receiving the title juris doctor in 1993. Born near Detroit and raised in Michigan, he now lives outside of Chicago, in Glencoe, IL, with his family.
Over his entrepreneurial career, Eric Lefkofsky has co-founded many online start-ups such as Groupon, Uptake, and the venture capital company Lightbank, which funds start-up companies in the Chicago area. While he earned his fortune in the online realm with exciting new companies, he has remained very active in “face to face” community service and focused on improving other people’s lives.
From Lightbank, he co-founded and became CEO of Tempus Health LLC, a company dedicated to funneling the power of technology into the fight for better cancer treatment. It focuses on using technology to create more personalized, data driven treatment options for cancer patients, and enabling physicians to better understand cancerous tumors within a patient’s body. This is in addition to the millions of dollars Lefkofsky has donated for cancer research over the years.
In 2013, Eric and his wife, Liz, became members of “The Giving Pledge,” a pledge made by philanthropic-minded individuals to donate half of their wealth to charitable giving. The Lefkofsky Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars to hospitals and foundations throughout the country to support cancer and brain tumor research and improve patient care.
The Foundation also provides money for causes in education, medicine, human rights, and the arts. Educational endeavors range from local Chicago charities such as Young Chicago Authors to national programs including Teach For America. Medical treatments are another huge focus, as are human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Anti-Defamation League. His family foundation also funds several museums, theaters, and other cultural venues.