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Brad Keywell is the co-founder and CEO of Uptake

Brad Keywell is a lifelong entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based Uptake, the leading predictive analytics software company for industry. Founded in 2014, Uptake’s vision is to create a world powered by data, where machines don’t break and people are armed with software that delivers information to make smart, accurate business decisions.

Uptake’s products convert data into actionable insights, empowering people and companies to perform at their best by improving productivity, reliability, safety and cyber security across operations. Serving across a number of industries and monitoring equipment in six continents, Uptake aims to connect every asset in the world.

Among Uptake’s many recognitions, the company was named “Startup of the Year” by Forbes in 2015 and was ranked in the top five of the 2017 CNBC Disruptor 50. Uptake was also named a 2017 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, an honor bestowed annually on 30 of the world’s most innovative companies.

Over his career, Brad has co-founded 14 companies, including Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), a global e-commerce marketplace; Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ:ECHO), a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm; Mediaocean, a leading provider of integrated media procurement technology; and Lightbank, a venture capital fund that invests in disruptive technologies. Brad is on the Board of Trustees of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) and the Board of Councilors at the USC Iovine and Young Academy.

Brad is committed to institutions that promote learning and entrepreneurship in communities across Chicago and the Midwest. He founded Chicago Ideas in 2011, which has grown into one of the largest, most inclusive and most affordable innovation and ideas gatherings in the world, attracting 30,000+ attendees and 250+ speakers to hundreds of events annually. Chicago Ideas is a catalyst for change; a platform that connects global thought leaders - from Common to Bill Clinton - with a diverse audience. Brad is also the host of the Upside Podcast, a collection of stimulating stories, inspiring guests and thought-provoking ideas that can transform business, the world and the way we think.

In 2010, Brad and his wife Kim launched the Keywell Foundation, which supports social innovators who are catalyzing change around the world. In 2015, Brad and Kim signed the Giving Pledge, the campaign founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to donate most of their wealth to philanthropy. Brad is also the founder and chairman of Future Founders, an organization that supports and inspires Chicago students to become entrepreneurs. The programs provide real-world experiences and hands-on mentorship and has served more than 33,000 students from the Chicagoland area.

Brad has held various civic leadership positions. He is the past chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council, appointed by former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. He served on the Mayor’s Committee on Technology Infrastructure and the Mayor’s Chicago-China Friendship Initiative, both positions appointed by former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

A devoted University of Michigan alum, where he received both his BA and JD, Brad lectures at the Ross School of Business and is a trustee of the school’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurship. He is also a trustee of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

For information, connect on Linkedin and follow him on Twitter (@bradkeywell).


Uptake Fields Highway

Co-Founder & CEO

Uptake is a leading predictive analytics software company that makes industries more productive, reliable, safe and secure.

Chicago Ideas


Keywell Foundation

An organization devoted to supporting the world's most promising social innovators and tackling significant issues through education and mentorship.

Chicago Ideas

A movement built on one core belief: when a broad spectrum of thinkers and instigators share ideas, they have the power to transform our world.

Future Founders

An immersive experience that inspires and empowers Chicago's youth to create their own opportunities.
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