Photographic portrait of Brad Keywell

Brad Keywell

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Judge

CEO, Uptake Technologies, Inc.

Areas of focus Entrepreneurship EY Private

Brad turned his smart ideas into success with a series of innovative technology companies.

Brad Keywell was EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019. 

Brad founded industrial AI software provider Uptake Technologies in 2014 and in just four years grew it into a company valued at US$2b. A serial entrepreneur, Brad has launched a series of successful technology companies, including Groupon. He maintains his career is a calling, not a choice, and that people become entrepreneurs because “it is what they must do.”

The idea for Uptake came to Brad after a frustrating trip to pick up his daughter from the airport. Her flight was delayed because the airline didn’t have the right part to fix a faulty aircraft. Brad worked out that he could deploy technology to prevent this from happening in the future, and the idea of Uptake was formed. Today the company works with industries across a range of sectors, analyzing data from sensors on machinery and then using data models to establish when a component is not performing well or needs fixing. Brad says the company helps to “make the world more productive,” saving its clients’ money by encouraging better maintenance of machinery.

A committed philanthropist, Brad is passionate about paying it forward. He chairs the Future Founders Foundation, which helps young people in Chicago start their own businesses. He is also the founder of Chicago Ideas, which has grown into one of the largest ideas gatherings in the world. 

Entrepreneurs do what they do because it’s who they are.
Brad Keywell