FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Press Release): LensQuote, a software startup that provides an in-office contact lens sales tool, announced plans today to expand its Indiana operations to support the development of its web-based platform. The company is an alum of gener8tor’s gBETA program, the state’s first application-based accelerator.
“LensQuote is an innovative merge of the health care and tech industries, and its commitment to expand in our state is bolstering Indiana’s reputation as a thriving tech hub,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest for entrepreneur friendliness, and it’s rewarding to support startup companies like LensQuote as they find success here and choose to grow in the Hoosier state.”
Since launching its online platform, LensQuote has grown to serve roughly 300 optometry offices in the U.S. and Canada. The company, which is currently headquartered in Bluffton, plans to make an investment to grow its operations in Allen County and is evaluating long-term location options in Fort Wayne to house its new headquarters.
“In office after office, we have seen contact lens sales skyrocket with the help of LensQuote,” said Dr. Ryan Gustus, LensQuote founder. “Eyecare practices typically offer more convenience and better pricing than online. However, they don’t do a good job communicating this value to their patients in the office. LensQuote helps them communicate this value while helping patients save. We’re excited to keep growing in Allen County and are thankful for the support of local and state partners to help make this happen.”
The company, which has two full-time employees in Indiana as well as part-time and contract employees, plans to create up to 23 new, high-wage jobs in Allen County by the end of 2024. LensQuote will begin hiring for positions in IT, sales, and administrative functions in the coming months. Open positions will be posted online as they become available.
In December, LensQuote received $80,000 in seed funding through the Elevate Ventures Nexus Regional Pitch Competition. The company, which officially launched its platform in 2019, participated in gBETA Fort Wayne’s Spring 2020 cohort. gBETA, hosted by gener8tor, a nationally-ranked accelerator, offers a free, seven-week program for early-stage companies like LensQuote to help build consumer awareness and establish the industry-specific metrics needed to become candidates for angel investment or full-time accelerators.
Founded by Gustus, a Fort Wayne native and optometrist, LensQuote is designed to simplify the in-office contact lens purchasing process for both eye care professionals and patients. The web-based platform creates a clear visual presentation of lens options, allowing patients to evaluate pricing, understand potential savings, and take advantage of the value of buying from the optometrist’s office. LensQuote provides automatic app updates, unlimited technical support, and comprehensive training.
“Health care continues to be a growing sector in our community, and it’s encouraging that vision care opportunities are increasing to better serve customers,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “Congratulations to Dr. Gustus and his team. LensQuote’s expansion and use of innovation and technology demonstrate a strong commitment to Fort Wayne.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered LensQuote LLC up to $260,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. Northeast Indiana Works will provide the company with additional hiring and training assistance.