Eric Lefkofsky is one of the most lucrative entrepreneurs and tech founders in Chicago. He is the co-founder of many successful ventures such as Lightbank, Uptake, EchoLogistics, Mediaocean, and InnerWorkings. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Groupon.
In 2006, he and wife Liz created the Lefkofsky Family Foundation. This private charity exists to serve communities by funding highly effective initiatives. Lefkofsky is also a trustee on the board of Lurie Children’ hospital, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Additionally, he works as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago.
After so many successes, Lefkofsky thought he was done with startup companies, but his mind was changed when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He noticed that data regarding cancer and the best courses of treatment were not very accessible to doctors. He was frustrated by the lack of information available to readily help doctors make decisions regarding treatment.
Looking for a way to solve this problem, he and his business partner Brad Keywell co-founded Tempus. Tempus’ approach to cancer treatment uses genome sequencing and machine learning to gather necessary information from the patient’s tumor, and then it creates an appropriate treatment plan to fight it and learn more about Eric.
The program is data-driven that basically takes molecular and clinical information from the patient and stores the data in a library. Partnerships between Tempus and these health care institutions have already been established: University of Michigan, University of Chicago, Mayo Clinic, and Northwestern University. Doctors from these cancer programs have already loaded patients’ information into the Tempus program. Physicians then can access this database to find patients with similar profiles as their patients and find the treatments that have been most effective. Although there are several physicians on the executive team of Tempus, it is a tech company.
Lefkofsky feels this is the most ambitious startup of his career. The whole idea of data-driven diagnoses and treatment planning is a paradigm shift when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of cancer and Eric’s lacrosse camp.