Bradley A. Keywell
Whether you want to visit your favorite spa or take a helicopter tour of Chicago at a 50 percent discount, Brad Keywell has you covered.
Keywell, a serial entrepreneur who has created a number of technology-based service companies, is best known as a co-founder of the social shopping site Groupon, Inc. But at the University of Illinois, he is also well-known for his guidance of and collaboration with Illinois Launch participants.
In the summer of 2010, Keywell delivered the keynote address to the first Illinois Launch cohort at the Summer Startup Development Program Bootcamp. At that program, Illinois Launch teams spent a week at the Illini Center in Chicago hearing from successful entrepreneurs, venture investors and others passionate about the startup community. Keywell connected with one Illinois Launch team in particular – Tiesta Tea.
With Keywell’s help, Tiesta Tea co-founders Dan Klein and Patrick Tannous ran a Groupon in several U.S. markets – and they have seen great success since then. Tiesta Teas are now found in more than 60 locations nationwide.
In addition to providing a Groupon connection, Keywell’s relationship with the Academy has given Launch entrepreneurs access to representatives from Lightbank, a venture fund launched in 2010 to invest in technology firms in the Midwest; their staff have lectured and advised Launch companies throughout their program.
Keywell is giving the keynote address at the Academy’s Startup Illinois 2011 event on May 19, 2011, where he will receive the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for his many contributions to the entrepreneurship community in Illinois.
Keywell is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Lightbank, a venture fund launched in 2010 to invest in technology firms in the Midwest; is the Managing Partner of investment and advisory firm Meadow Lake Management LLC; and is the co-founder of MediaBank and Echo Global Logistics.
Keywell supports innovation and entrepreneurship in Illinois as chair of the Illinois Innovation Council, as appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Keywell is also on the Mayor’s Committee on Technology Infrastructure.
Keywell has also contributed significantly to the community in the fields of healthcare and education. Among his endeavors, Keywell founded Connect to the Future, a program for the Chicago Public Schools that pairs entrepreneurs and professionals with junior high school classes, giving students inspiration to go to college and to pursue careers.
Brad Keywell is a strong champion for creating and nurturing entrepreneurship in Illinois.