Future Founders, a non-profit building the nation’s largest inclusive community of intentional young entrepreneurs, today announced the appointment of Jason VandeBoom as Board Chair and Brad Keywell as Founding Chair.
Jason VandeBoom is the Founder & CEO of ActiveCampaign. Founded in 2003, ActiveCampaign accelerates every company’s growth with the only automation platform designed for ideal customer experiences. Today, ActiveCampaign is the market leader in intelligence-driven customer experience automation with over 180,000 customers in more than 170 countries leveraging the platform to grow their businesses.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Jason has been named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 list and was named EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest in 2021. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and The Economic Club of Chicago. He is also a regular contributor to Fast Company and Forbes.
Having founded ActiveCampaign as a means to fund his education, Jason pursued a degree in fine arts until shifting his focus entirely to growing the company. He is a self-taught software engineer and technologist.
“The Future Founders mission is strong, and I am honored to step into the role of Board Chair for this incredible organization,” VandeBoom said. “Future Founders has been on an impressive trajectory over the past decade, but we’re still just getting started. I look forward to sharing my own experiences of growing a business from a young age with our students and founders and working even more closely with the team to expand our reach and impact across the country.”
Jason joined Future Founders’ Board of Directors in 2020 and immediately began engaging with our students and founders. Since that time, he and many of his colleagues at ActiveCampaign have personally mentored and inspired our young people in pivotal stages of their own entrepreneurial development.
“Jason’s entrepreneurial journey epitomizes all that we hope to teach our students and founders,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “We are honored to welcome Jason to this new role at an auspicious moment for our organization. His leadership, experience, and dedication will be invaluable to our success as we enter our second decade.”
With Jason’s appointment, Brad Keywell will transition from Board Chair, a role in which he has served since Future Founders’ inception in 2011, to Founding Chair. In this new position, Brad will stay actively engaged with the Board and continue his tireless support for Future Founders’ growth and development.
Brad is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Uptake, and was named the 2019 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year.
He is a Founder of Tempus, Groupon, MediaOcean, Echo Global Logistics, and Drivin. Brad is an investor (through Lightbank or personally) in Sprout Social, Udemy, Fiverr, Reverb, CrowdRise, GoPuff, and more. He has served on the Boards of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), tastytrade, Benzinga, and several nonprofit organizations.
Brad is the creator of Chicago Ideas (a conference and connectivity platform), WNDR Museum (an immersive art+technology experience), and WNDR Studios (Tech/Art collective). Reflecting his commitment to philanthropy, he signed The Giving Pledge.
“Brad is an exceptional leader, partner, and friend,” said Issen. “He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to and support for our mission, and his zeal for our work has been infectious. He has been the best partner I could imagine in growing this organization, and his leadership has left an indelible mark on our entire community.”
“At our core, Future Founders is committed to empowering young people to create empowering possibility through entrepreneurship,” said Keywell. “I am proud to have co-founded the organization and, as Founding Chair, will continue to support its dynamic mission. I am so excited to welcome Jason as our Board Chair, especially given my admiration for his entrepreneurial success and his personal character. Jason is an extraordinary leader, and his inspiring vision will be critical in guiding the continued growth of Future Founders.”
“I have so much gratitude for Brad and the work he’s done to create and build Future Founders into the organization it is today,” said VandeBoom. “We support so many promising entrepreneurs in Chicago and beyond, a tribute to his leadership. I’m honored to continue working alongside him in this new capacity.”
Future Founders is building the nation’s largest inclusive community of intentional young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded leaders. Our programs immerse youth in experiences that inspire and empower them to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and create their own opportunity. We believe this leads to a generation more determined, hopeful and equipped as they engage the future. Since 2005, we have served over 44,000 youth, and our national 18 to 30-year-old founders have generated $325M in revenue, secured $250M in capital and created 1,700 jobs. Join us as we empower the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
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