Opternative Company Profile


Taking an eye exam has never been easier with help from Opternative, the world’s first online eye examination system that delivers a valid prescription signed by an ophthalmologist within 5-10 minutes for around $35. We recently spoke with Dr. Steven Lee, EVP and Co-Founder of Opternative, to get an inside look into the company.

Since its inception in 2013, the eye exam the team has developed has “improved dramatically” according to Lee. A number of leading optometrists and ophthalmologists have provided Opternative with feedback and suggestions to create an extremely robust and thorough online refractive eye examination system. The way the exam works is through the use of both a smart phone and computer. By measuring a credit card, the user is able to calibrate the exam to his/her screen size. The test also accurately measures sight at different distances by asking your shoe size and telling you to either take heel-to-toe steps away or toward your screen. By testing for color blindness, astigmatism, contrast, and distance reading, Opternative is able to provide a legitimate prescription for everyone.

According to Lee, the best advice the company has received thus far has been to keep innovating. Innovation is one of the key characteristics that make companies succeed despite the possible failures that come along with being startups. It comes as no surprise that Apple and Facebook, two of the most innovative companies in history, are businesses that Lee looks up to. Much like the aforementioned companies, competition exists in the marketplace for Opternative. The team is constantly evaluating the competitive landscape and searching for ways to distinguish themselves as the world's first and only refractive online eye exam that delivers a valid prescription.

So far, the consumer responses to Opternative’s exam have been positive. The individuals that have taken the exam as test subjects have mentioned that the exam is “not only convenient, but also intuitive and fun.” Having taken the exam myself, the speed with which the exam can be completed is something I am especially drawn to. As opposed to a traditional eye exam that requires me to drive to the doctor’s office, wait for the doctor, and then complete the exam which could take up to an hour, Opternative’s exam took me only a few minutes. In a world where time and money are extremely valuable, Opternative has cracked the code on making sure you can see clearly in a matter of minutes at a fraction of the cost.

What does Dr. Steven Lee do when he's not disrupting the eye care industry? He enjoys running, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Relaxing and working in Chicago have their benefits, despite the harsh winters and (usually) hot summers. The variety of restaurants and sites to visit year round keep plenty of entrepreneurs busy and inspired. With all of the exciting things happening with Opternative, we’re definitely looking forward to winter 2014 when the company is set to launch the exam and forever change how the world sees eye care.