ORLANDO, FL, 2016 – Three Eyecare Industry veterans announced the launching of a venture fund targeting early to mid-stage investments in eye care services and technologies. The Eyecare Innovation Fund I, LP (the “EyeFund” or “Fund”) will connect select investors with unique access to emerging eye care technologies while delivering a unique value-added investment to venture funds and entrepreneurs.
“Our clients are the owners of larger optometry practices,” said Alan Cleinman, founder and CEO of Cleinman Performance Partners, the leading business development consultancy in the eye care space and an EyeFund founder. “As such, they are early adopters of new technologies and a highly valued participant in the development of industry innovation. We conceived of the EyeFund to connect this valuable resource with investments in the future of eye care.” he said.
The EyeFund is a Limited Liability Partnership comprised of a General Partner (the “General Partner”) and up to 100 individual investors (the “Limited Partners”). The General Partner is controlled by three individuals, Alan Cleinman, Thomas Schinkel and Joel Zychick, who have over 125 years of eye care, technology, investment and M & A experience.
“Our investment strategy is to participate alongside angel investors and venture capital in select investments that are developing advanced technologies and are within three years of commercialization,” said Joel Zychick, Esq., an EyeFund co-founder and CEO of E-Vision, a firm that controls over 500 patents associated with electronic eyewear. “Early investments in the technologies utilized by optometrists are not generally available to early adopters, either the result of not having access or from limitations on the investment funds available to an individual optometrist, “he said.
EyeFund founder Thomas Schinkel, an international mergers and acquisitions advisor, added. “The Fund will be a $5mm investment pool comprised of optometrists and the industry that serves them. The Fund will provide investors with early and mid-stage access to technologies and, potentially, significant investment returns.”
Eyecare Innovation Fund I, LP is a venture fund targeting early to mid-stage investments in the eye care services and technology markets. The Fund is a Limited Liability Partnership comprised of a General Partner (the “General Partner”) and up to 100 individual investors (the “Limited Partners”).
Investors will be limited to members of the eye care industry with the majority being owners of private optometry practices. Investors must be accredited and may subscribe from $25,000 to $100,000, payable in a single tranche. Investors may invest either personally or through an LLC.
The Fund will make investments in technologies that are expected to enhance the optometrist/patient experience. Initial investments will range from $250,000 to $500,000 in firms that are within three years of commercialization. Along with the funds, management will provide access to investors to serve as advisors and consultants as well as alpha and beta test sites prior to full commercialization of technologies.
Alan Cleinman: An entrepreneur and leader in the eye care community for over 40 years; Mr. Cleinman has launched over twenty-five businesses and business units and scores of business services. Together with Thomas Schinkel, he is credited with inventing the Buying Group segment of the vision care industry when they founded Co-optics of America, the first national optometric buying group, in 1979. In 1989 he founded Cleinman Performance Partners, now the leading business development consultancy for the owners of larger optometry practices. In 1991, together with four partners, he founded Innotech, a lens design and manufacturing enterprise which was ultimately sold to Johnson and Johnson. He has an extensive background in new business development, planning, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and relationship structuring. A prolific writer and speaker, he is the author of hundreds of articles and has served as a contributing editor to Optometric Management and Eye Care Business magazines. He is the author of A Different Perspective: An Entrepreneur’s Observations on Optometry, Business and Life (Cleinman Performance Partners, Inc., 2015).
Thomas Schinkel: The former Executive Director of the Dutch Wholesaler’s Association, Thomas Schinkel is an internationally recognized business adviser who works with chief executives of large, medium, and small businesses on specific strategic issues that include cross-border acquisitions and executive search assignments. He works with clients in Retail and Wholesale Distribution, Aviation, Medical Device Manufacturing, and in the Software and Security Industry. His clients include corporations, privately owned firms, venture capital companies, investor groups, trade associations, and individual investors. Together with Alan Cleinman, in 1979 he founded Co-Optics of America, the first national optometry buying group. He is the Chairman of Board of Advisors of First Base, Inc., a Canadian specialty paper manufacturer, and has been an officer of the Small Business Association of New England. Mr. Schinkel holds an MBA from the Ohio State University and is an accredited Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor.
Joel Zychick: Joel has been advising companies in various segments of the ophthalmic industry on operational and legal matters for over 25 years. He has represented private companies in a variety of transactions, including development and execution of funding strategies and intellectual property for developmental stage technologies and products. He currently serves as President of e-Vision Smart Optics, Inc., a research and development company that focuses on electronic lenses and optics for a variety of industries including eye care. An attorney with more than 35 years of experience representing closely held private and public companies in their capital and financial transactions, Joel has a unique skill and experience portfolio including strategic acquisitions and depositions as well as initial public offerings. Joel was extensively involved in the leadership of the American Bar Association (ABA), where he served for many years as Secretary of its Section of Taxation and as a member of its governing body (Council). Joel also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the ABA’s Section Officers Conference and he is a “Fellow” of the American College of Tax Counsel.
HIS INFORMATION DOES NOT REPRESENT AN OFFER TO SELL SECURITIES OF THE FUND AND IT IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY SECURITIES OF THE FUND. THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT THE FUND WILL ACHIEVE ITS INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES. INVESTMENTS IN THE FUND INVOLVE OPERATING EXPENSES AND FEES. THE NET ASSET VALUE OF THE FUND WILL FLUCTUATE WITH THE VALUE OF THE UNDERLYING SECURITIES. AN INVESTMENT IN A CLOSED END FUND IS SUBJECT TO INVESTMENT RISK, INCLUDING THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE ENTIRE AMOUNT THAT YOU INVEST. SEE THE PRIVATE PLACEMENT MEMORANDUM FOR A DETAILED DISCUSSION OF FUND-SPECIFIC RISKS. INVESTORS SHOULD CONSIDER THE INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES, RISK CONSIDERATIONS, CHARGES AND EXPENSES OF ANY INVESTMENT BEFORE THEY INVEST.