Brad Keywell

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Brad Keywell
Born October 1969 (age 48)
Alma mater University of Michigan (JD) (BBA)
Occupation Managing Partner, Lightbank
Spouse(s) Kimberly
Website bradkeywell.com

Brad Keywell (born October 1969) is a lifelong entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the co-founder of seven technology companies. He is the co-founder and current CEO of Uptake Technologies, an industrial AI software platform. He is also co-founder of Tempus, Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, MediaOcean, Drivin, and the venture capital firm Lightbank.

Early life and education[edit]

Keywell grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and attended Cranbrook Schools. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with honors in 1991 from the University of Michigan[1] in addition to a Juris Doctor cum laude in 1993 from the University of Michigan Law School. Keywell studied at the London School of Economics in 1990 and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and the State Bar of Illinois.[2]

Career[edit]

Keywell initially worked for Group Investments, LLC, Sam Zell's investment vehicle.

In 1999, Keywell and his business partner Eric Lefkofsky co-founded Starbelly, an online promotional product supply chain management technology firm, that was acquired in January 2000 by HA-LO (NYSE:HMK) acquired Starbelly for a purchase price of $240 million.[3] in February 2005, they founded Echo Global Logistics, a technology-based enterprise transportation management firm, which went public on the NASDAQ under the symbol ECHO.[4]

In June 2006, they founded MediaBank, a provider of operating systems to the advertising and media buying industry. In 2012, the firm merged with Donovan Data Systems (DDS) to form Mediaocean.[5]

In 2007, along with Andrew Mason, they co-founded ThePoint.com, an online collective action website. In late 2008, it became a collective buying platform, and the name changed to Groupon. The went public in 2011 on the NASDAQ stock exchange.[6]

In February 2010, Keywell and Lefkofsky founded Lightbank, a firm that invests in disruptive technology businesses. [7]

In July of 2014, Keywell and Lefkofsky founded the industrial AI software company Uptake; the third unicorn in Illinois, valued at over $2.3 billion[8].

Philanthropy and community interests[edit]

In 2015 Keywell and his wife Kim took The Giving Pledge to give away half of their wealth.[9]

He is the founder and Chairman of Chicago Ideas, an innovations and ideas gathering [10]. He is Chairman of both the Future Founders Foundation, providing entrepreneurial education to inner-city students in the Chicagoland area and Illinois Innovation Council.[11]


Keywell is the host of a bi-weekly podcast called The Upside and a participant of both the Renaissance Weekend and the TED Conference.[12]

Teaching and writing[edit]

Keywell has been an Adjunct Professor at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, where he taught a course "Building Internet Startups."[13]

He is the author of Biz Dev 3.0: Changing Business as We Know It, published by ALM Publishing, and, with his daughter, the author of Isabelle Speaks Up: A Story of Possibilities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lev-Ram, Michal. "The race to the Internet of things". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  2. ^ "Bradley A. Keywell | Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies". zli.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  3. ^ "Ha-lo Buys Starbelly.com". Chicago Tribune. January 24, 2000. 
  4. ^ "Echo Global Logistics, Inc". Google Finance. 
  5. ^ Joe Mandese (September 25, 2011). "Rivals Donovan And MediaBank Merge To Form 'MediaOcean,' Will Develop New 'OS' For Madison Avenue". MediaPost News. 
  6. ^ "NASDAQ:GRPN". Google Finance. 
  7. ^ "Lightbank - Portfolio". lightbank.com. 
  8. ^ Scott, Alwyn. "U.S. startup Uptake valued at $2.3 billion in new funding round". U.S. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  9. ^ "Groupon's Keywell promises to give away at least half his wealth". 
  10. ^ "Chicago Ideas". Chicago Ideas. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  11. ^ "Governor Quinn Announces Creation of Illinois Innovation Council". State of Illinois. February 16, 2011. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "TED Community Brad Keywell". 
  13. ^ "Teaching the Secrets of Successful Serial Entrepreneurship". 

External links[edit]