(photo courtesy of LensQuote)

FORT WAYNE – A Bluffton-based eye care technology startup is planning to expand operations in northeast Indiana. LensQuote LLC, which has developed an online contact lens sales platform, says it is evaluating locations to establish its new headquarters in Fort Wayne and create 23 jobs by the end of 2024.

LensQuote did not immediately disclose how much it is investing in the expansion. The news comes nearly three months after the company received $80,000 in seed funding through the Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition.

The company was founded in 2019 by Dr. Ryan Gustus. LensQuote says its platform is designed to simplify the in-office contact lens purchasing process for eye care professionals and patients.

“In office after office, we have seen contact lens sales skyrocket with the help of LensQuote,” Gustus said in a news release. “Eye care 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.”

LensQuote participated in the spring 2020 gBETA Fort Wayne cohort, which helps early-stage companies build consumer awareness and prepare for angel investment. The company says it will begin hiring for IT, sales, and administrative positions in the coming months.

“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. “LensQuote’s expansion and use of innovation and technology demonstrate a strong commitment to Fort Wayne.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered LensQuote up to $260,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The IEDC says Northeast Indiana Works will provide the company with further hiring and training assistance.

Original article from Inside Indiana Business.