Groupon Founder Eric Lefkofksy’s New Mission: Creating Data-Driven Cancer Treatment

Eric Lefkofksy might be known for creating Groupon, the online backbone of the best local deals. However, according to Jim Dalke’s article in ChicagoInno titled “Eric Lefkofsky’s Self-Funded Mission to Cure Cancer Through Data”, the serial entrepreneur is about to shake up medical industry.

Mr. Lefkofsky created company after an incredibly confusing and disheartening experience. His wife was diagnosed with cancer. As they went from doctor to doctor, it became clear that the data necessary for an informed decision simply wasn’t available. The treatment did not seem personalized Lefkofksy decided a change was necessary.

Mr. Lefkofsky created Tempus as a solution to this issue. By making a library consisting of previous cancer patient’s molecular compositions and an operating system that interprets it, doctors will be able to create a personalized treatment plan for their current patients. The patients have their genomes sequenced in the lab and it is then lined up with the molecular information of other cancer patients. At that point, Tempus creates a report for the doctors and provides access to the operating system to create a precise treatment plan.

Though he has great hopes for Tempus, starting a new company was not at the top of his to-do list. At this point in his career, he was not looking for all the pressure and stress that is inherent in building a successful startup. However, he has invested much of his own fortune to keep Tempus self-funded, which allows it to outpace competitors who are reliant on outside funding.

He hopes that Tempus will be one of the most successful of his businesses because of the possible impact on people’s lives. He claims that the technology could be “the most disruptive model I’ve ever seen.” Though it may take years to measure the success of the treatment options based on the data, it has the potential to save lives.

The company established partnerships with some of the healthcare industry’s biggest hitters such as the University of Chicago, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.

Eric Lefkosky has been a successful entrepreneur since 2006. He has co-founded companies in a variety of different industries like predictive analytics, marketing, venture capital, and local commerce.

He is also dedicated to a variety of philanthropic causes. He co-founded the Lefkofksy Foundation with his wife to support education, science, and more than 50 other organizations. He is also a part of The Giving Pledge.