Brad Keywell, 42, is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Lightbank, a venture fund investing in disruptive technology businesses. He is a co-founder and Director of Groupon. He is a co-founder and Director of MediaBank, which provides integrated technology platforms and solutions to the advertising and media buying industry. He is a co-founder and Director of Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ:ECHO), a technology-based enterprise transportation management firm.
Keywell is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he teaches a course on entrepreneurship and building technology-based businesses. He is the Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council, appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. He is on the Mayor’s Committee on Technology Infrastructure, and the Mayor’s Chicago-China Friendship Initiative, both positions appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Keywell is the Founder and Chairman of Chicago Ideas Week, an annual event which hosts nearly 200 speakers at 80+ events with global media coverage, and is emerging as one of the major ideas and innovation conferences and platforms in the country.
Keywell is the Chairman of the Future Founders Foundation, which runs programs designed to help teach and inspire high school students in entrepreneurship, and connect them with mentors and role models for guidance and inspiration. The Future Founders and Connect to the Future programs are at over 20 schools in the Chicagoland area, and provide real-world experiences and hands-on impact to encourage students to focus on the value of their education and expand their horizons.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), an S&P 500 company. He is the Managing Partner of Meadow Lake Management LLC, an investment and advisory firm. Keywell was previously with Equity Group Investments, LLC, Sam Zell’s investment vehicle, identifying and assessing investment opportunities. He is the former President of HA-LO Industries (NYSE:HMK), then the world’s leading provider of promotional products. In January, 2000, HA-LO acquired Starbelly, an online promotional product supply chain management technology firm which Keywell co-founded in May, 1999.
He is on the Advisory Board of the Directors College for Global Business at the University of Michigan Law School. Keywell is on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of NorthShore University HealthSystem, a $1.5 billion healthcare organization. He is on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Path Initiative, a global NGO dedicated to facilitating cross-cultural bonds. He is on the Board of Trustees of Imerman Angels, which pairs cancer survivors with patients to form human bonds in the battle against the disease. He is a Special Advisor to the Redmoon Theater Company, a Chicago-based theater and public spectacle performance troupe.
Keywell is a frequent speaker at technology and marketing industry events, as well as a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Business School, Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Medill School of Journalism. He has been a Judge for the New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Booth School. He has served on the Advisory Committee of the University of Chicago GSB Directors’ College. He founded the Digital Leadership Exchange, in partnership with Spencer Stuart, which is now a global CEO-level networking organization. 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.
Keywell received the 2011 Entrepreneurial Champion award from the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. He was named one of the nation’s Top Ten Collegiate Entrepreneurs in 1991 by the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, and received the 2000 Conrad Hilton Distinguished Entrepreneur Award from Loyola Marymount University. He was named one of the “Internet 100” by Crain’s Chicago Business. He was keynote speaker at the 2004 National Conference of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.
Keywell served on the Board of Trustees of Columbia College, the nation’s largest secondary education institution dedicated to the fine arts, and was a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He has served on the Board of Directors of Warrior Productions, a documentary filmmaker whose principal produced Hoop Dreams. He has served as a Trustee of the University of Michigan Hillel Foundation. He is a participant of both the Renaissance Weekend and the TED Conference. He is a member of the Chicago chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and serves as Chairman of the YPO Coaches Clinic, an international YPO event.
Keywell received his J.D. cum laude
from the University of Michigan School of Law (1993) and his Bachelor of Business Administration with honors
from the University of Michigan (1991). He also studied in 1990 at the London School of Economics. He is a member of the State Bar of Illinois and the Michigan Bar Association.