Opternative was founded in 2012 by Dr. Steven Lee and Aaron Dallek. Dr. Lee, a practicing optometrist, came up with the initial idea for an online eye exam. Having completed over 20,000 refractive exams, Dr. Lee found the traditional phoropter-based method to be time-consuming and inconvenient for patients; he knew there had to be a better way. After meeting his co-founder Aaron Dallek, an experienced entrepreneur, the two created the Opternative solution.
For those who have access to quality vision care, our technology just made eye exams more convenient and affordable. For the 2.5 billion around the world without access to vision care, our solution can radically impact those who suffer from vision loss due to uncorrected refractive errors.
This is just the beginning. Opternative will continue to bring innovative, patient-focused solutions to the vision care industry that no one thought was possible.
Aaron is a serial entrepreneur who loves building technologies that make the world a better place. Before founding Opternative, he co-founded Cheap Ink, a printer cartridge sales and recycling company, which was ranked 544th fastest growing company in the US in the 2011 Inc. 5000. He also co-founded Planet Metrics, a carbon information management software startup that was sold to PTC. In 2010, Aaron returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he’s been helping grow the city’s startup ecosystem.
Steve is an entrepreneur, engineer, and optometrist. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2002 and the Illinois College of Optometry in 2007. Before founding Opternative, Steven was in clinical practice from 2007-2013. During that time, he specialized in the areas of difficult contact lens fittings, ocular disease treatment, and surgical co-management. Steven loves thinking outside of the box and enjoys creating solutions to problems that people never thought were possible.