How Eric Lefkofsky is Using Data to Defeat Cancer
Throughout his diverse and lauded career, serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky has made a name for himself by using data to create industry-leading companies. Over his 20+ year career, Lefkofsky has used data analytics to disrupt industries ranging from freight logistics at Echo Global Logistics to media-buying at MediaBank to, most famously, the e-commerce marketplace at Groupon.
It was with this same data-driven mindset that Eric Lefkofsky founded Tempus, a health-tech startup that’s building “an operating system to battle cancer.” The goal of Tempus is simple: to help cancer-stricken patients and their doctors fight the disease by learning from the treatment data of other patients around the country.
For the healthcare industry, an industry that has been notoriously slow to modernize, Tempus represents a new, technology-driven approach to cancer treatment. Analyzing molecular and therapeutic data, Tempus will allow doctors to be more informed about the latest trends and, most importantly, provide more personalized treatments for patients.
For Lefkofsky, who will lead Tempus as its CEO, it would have been all too easy to take a break and rest on his earlier successes following his departure from Groupon in 2015. Instead, however, Lefkofsky, who has donated millions to cancer research, decided to use data science to help an industry in desperate need of a technological facelift.
While Lefkofsky will be the first to tell you his new venture is, first and foremost, a business, the company’s goal and mission is, perhaps, more in line with Lefkofsky’s philanthropic endeavors. Like his entrepreneurial career, Lefkofsky’s philanthropic strategy is wide-ranging and diverse. Between his foundation, the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, and his own personal philanthropy, Lefkofsky supports and donates to causes ranging from education and human rights to arts and culture. Lefkofsky has been particularly influential and generous to the city of Chicago, where he sits on the board of directors at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the board of directors of The Art Institute of Chicago, the board of directors of The Museum of Science and Industry, and a Trustee of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a Chicago-based performing arts institution. On top of all of this, Lefkofsky has followed in the footsteps of wealthy entrepreneurs such as Warren Buffet and Bill gates in taking the The Giving Pledge, a commitment to give a large portion of his new worth to philanthropic causes.
In many ways, Tempus is just another way Lefkofsky is giving back. This time, though, he is hoping to do so using data science and analytics. Given his track record over the past 23 years, it would seem a safe bet to think Tempus is destined for great things.