Lawrence Patrick

Director, Northwestern


Lawrence Patrick is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four technology companies, including one of the first permission marketing companies and one of the first digital textbook companies. Lawrence recently joined Northwestern University, where he serves as the founding Director of San Francisco Programs for the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. A pioneer in digital media, Lawrence published his first web site in 1994—before Netscape was founded. He was intern #1 at Mercury Center, the very first daily news web site. While there he launched, which grew into the largest online newspaper archive before being acquired by NewsBank. Lawrence also worked on the teams that developed early versions of Careerbuilder,, HomeHunter (now HomeGain,) and Inkling. Early in his career he worked as a front-end developer and UX designer at Elon Musk's first startup company, Zip2. After working in journalism, Lawrence co-founded and led Megaschool, JustRewards and Roscoe Labs as CEO. He was also CEO of LiveLoop, which was acquired by Qubeey, and he was CIO of Milyoni, which was acquired by Photobucket. Now he uses his experience to help other founders and is an active startup mentor and board adviser. Lawrence also spent time working in the social sector and served as President and CEO of Inspire USA Foundation. He led the U.S. expansion of, which uses technology to reduce suicide—one of the most urgent public health threats facing young people. Before coming to Inspire, Lawrence led Business Development and Strategy for Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he was personally recruited by Wynton Marsalis to develop the product roadmap and strategy blueprint for the jazz world’s largest and most influential organization. Lawrence, who is passionate about education, was appointed President and CEO of the Black Alliance for Educational Options at age 26 and then led the organization through a period of dramatic growth. Under his leadership, BAEO helped shape school reform policy, launched several grassroots mobilization campaigns to expand parental choice for low-income parents, and received a $5 million investment from Bill Gates to design a network of charter schools. Lawrence was selected for a fellowship to attend the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, where he was a Presidential Scholar and a Knight Foundation Scholar and attended college on a full academic scholarship. He won Knight Ridder’s highly competitive national minority scholarship, he was a Poynter Institute fellow, and is a two-time recipient of the Russwurm & Cornish Vision Award. Lawrence has been a guest lecturer on digital media and strategy for the Dow Jones News Fund and the News Media Alliance. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Washington, D.C., Public Charter School Board; and the Charter School Leadership Council (Now the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools), where he served as its Chairman. He worked on global education policy issues as Commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Education Committee. A Detroit native, Lawrence is a proud graduate of Cass Tech and member of the Cass Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors.
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