Serial entrepreneur and Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell has begun taping pilots for a new 30-minute radio program he would host on WBEZ-FM 91.5, a public radio station.
"It would be a Saturday morning show," said Jessica Malkin, executive director of Chicago Ideas Week, which Keywell founded. "We're doing three pilots. Then (WBEZ executives and producers) will do a review, and then they'll look at scheduling."
Keywell's guest for the first pilot, which doesn't have an air date, is business book author Daniel Pink, whose latest is "To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others." The second pilot, to be taped Sunday, will feature Somalian human rights activist Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe.
"We're going to feature incredible minds from across the world who happen to already be coming to Chicago," Malkin said. "They're going to be friends of Brad's, or friends of Chicago Ideas Week. He'll sit down for an unplugged convo on life, innovation, big ideas. It's intended to be a living room conversation."
Keywell, a self-made multimillionaire, if not billionaire, is an avid reader and counts real estate mogul Sam Zell among his mentors. His online "bookshelf" on his personal website starts with his "Top 5" titles followed by more than 25 categories of recommended books, including "Books About Art," "Ayn Rand Books," "Books on a Balanced Life," "Books on Meditation," "Books on Philanthropy" and a category simply called "Wisdom."
"We're equating it to Charlie Rose on radio — a new age Charlie Rose," Malkin said.
Chicagoan and Goldman Sachs managing director Bruce Heyman is President Barack Obama's pick to be the next ambassador to Canada, according to a source.
Heyman has been with Goldman since 1980. Since 2001, he has led the investment firm's private wealth management group in the Midwest, which covers 13 states and half of Canada.
In addition, Bruce and his wife, Vicki, have been leading fundraisers for the president.
In an interview with the Tribune last year, Ariel Investments President John Rogers credited Vicki Heyman, one of three 2012 Illinois finance committee co-chairs, with being "a big advocate" of a fundraising tactic called a leadership circle. In exchange for a maximum donation, leadership circle members received access to private briefings and events. The circles spread from Chicago to other states, including Colorado and California.
"I know it has been extraordinarily well-received as a way of keeping major donors involved and engaged, and feeling a part of the ongoing flow," Rogers said.
Meanwhile, Bruce Heyman spoke out publicly on the president's behalf in October in The Wall Street Journal, a rarity for someone at Goldman.
"I am sensitive to the emotions" of Wall Street, he told the paper. "But if you look at the facts, Mr. Obama is pro-business."
Paul Gray, a member of Obama's Illinois and national finance committees and director of the Richard Gray Gallery, said Vicki Heyman was at campaign headquarters "every day" last fall.
"She was a dynamic Illinois finance chair, and he was tireless," Gray said. "I think they're a great team, and that's the beauty of an ambassadorship — you get both of them."
Once the appointment is official, Bruce Heyman would replace David Jacobson, a Chicago attorney. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. first reported the news.
Lightbank to host Innovation Day
Lightbank, the venture capital firm co-founded by Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, will host its first Innovation Day for a select group of corporate executives May 9 at its offices.
The purpose of the event is to connect people in the C-suites of medium and large corporations with startups in Lightbank's investment portfolio. The lack of interaction between big corporations and startups — both socially and economically — is viewed as a chief weakness of the city's business culture.