When Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder and CEO of Tempus, noticed that oncologists needed a database that combined the genomic information already available to them with therapeutic data, he had an idea for a new startup. Most people who have never had cancer, or who never had a close friend or family member diagnosed with cancer, assume that doctors have access to data about how effective cancer treatment is on a specific group of people, but they did not when Lefkofsky decided to establish Tempus. His goal is to provide doctors with the information that they need to make data-driven decisions when selecting the optimal treatment for their patients.
Although Lefkofsky obtained his Juris Doctor at University of Michigan Law School, he found his calling as a serial entrepreneur and billionaire philanthropist. While in college, Lefkofsky and friend Brad Keywell started a business selling carpet, Keywell and Lefkofsky went on to establish several companies as business partners. During his entrepreneurial career, Lefkofsky founded or co founded, Groupon; Uptake Technologies;
Mediaocean; Echo Global Logistics and Inner Workings. Currently, in addition to serving as Tempus’ CEO, Lefkofsky invests in technology-based startups through Lightbank, a venture fund where Lefkofsky serves founding partner. Lightbank invests in disruptive businesses, a business development theory that he explains is his book, Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation. Disruptive businesses offer consumers a better choice, however, they have to take their idea and run with it because the fast pace of technology makes it easy for someone else to overtake them.
Lefkofsky and his wife co-chair the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which supports educational and medical institutions and the arts primarily in the Greater Chicago community. Originally from Southfield, Michigan, Lefkofsky and his wife currently reside in Glencoe, Illinois, which is on Chicago’s North Shore. Additionally, Lefkofsky serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
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