Eric Lefkofsky
Eric Lefkofsky
InnerWorkings (INWK), Echo Global Logisticts (ECHO), Mediabank, Groupon (GRPN)

Eric Lefkofsky is the Chief Executive Officer of Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) and is also one of the co-founders of the company. As a Chicago entrepreneur, Eric Lefkofsky is a co-founder of several companies including InnerWorkings, Inc. (NASDAQ: INWK), Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ECHO), MediaOcean and Lightbank LLC.

Eric Lefkofsky serves on the board of many organizations and foundations including the board of directors of Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital, the board of trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago, the board of trustees of the Steppenwolf Theatre, the board of directors of World Business Chicago and the board of trustees of the Museum of Science and Industry. Eric Lefkofsky is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Eric Lefkofsky received a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School.

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QYou created InnerWorkings from scratch and took it to $150 million in revenue in five years. Then you did it again with Echo, zero to $250 million in three years. Give it up, my friend, what's your secret?

A The common theme at Starbelly, Innerworkings, Echo, MediaBank, and Groupon is that we developed some expertise applying technology to service-oriented problems.

QLet's start with Starbelly (nice reference to Dr. Seuss!). Initial funding to exit took all of nine months and you reached a $240 million valuation. How did that happen?

A We started in March of '99 and sold it in January of '00. We rode the height of the dot com insanity.

QBut the acquirer, HALO, didn't do well.

A The company that acquired us was a failed rollup. We spent about a year over there. It began to implode, so I left in April of '01.

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