Brad Keywell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Brad Keywell
BornOctober 1969 (age 49)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (JD) (BBA)
OccupationManaging Partner, Lightbank

Brad Keywell (born October 1969) is a lifelong entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the co-founder of seven technology companies. He is the 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]


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),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, 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 2014, Keywell 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 Chicago 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.


  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". Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  3. ^ "Ha-lo Buys". 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".
  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]