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Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Perfect intellectual environment' at IU incubator aids in record profits, expansion for Optiform

March 31, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- After posting record profits in 2009 and projecting revenues of $2.5 million this year, an innovator of information capture solutions has recognized it's now time to graduate from Indiana University's Emerging Technologies Center business incubator and into a larger home.

IU Emerging Technology Center

Having operated out of Indiana University's Emerging Technologies Center in Indianapolis since 2005, Optiform will now take its record profits and expanding business out of the incubator, pictured above, and into a larger North Pennsylvania Street facility.

Print-Quality Photo

"The name of the game for Optiform is to identify vertical business applications where emerging technologies can provide a strong return on investment, and then deliver," said Optiform managing partner Scott McLaughlin. "Indiana University's Emerging Technologies Center has provided us with the perfect intellectual environment to foster innovative ideas from concept to product."

Operating out of IU ETC's downtown Indianapolis location since 2005, Optiform is now in the process of moving from the West 10th Street location and into a larger space at 429 N. Pennsylvania St. in Indianapolis.

Optiform's Business Process Automation (BPA) solutions encompass the "capture-to-processing" of both electronic and paper-based forms and documents. The integrated offering of recognition and workflow automation technologies uniquely address data and document collection operations for healthcare, education, government and environmental industries. The company's national client list includes Cerner, Roche Diagnostics, Zimmer, Hewlett Packard, Speedway SuperAmerica and CVS Pharmacy.

Melissa Mau, director of the Clinical Research Core at the IU School of Dentistry's Oral Health Research Institute, said Optiform was able to develop and provide a working tablet-size personal computer that could manage handwritten data and also meet federal regulatory requirements.

"We had envisioned using Tablet PCs for our clinical device trials, but we needed U.S. Food and Drug Administration-compliant data entry software, which didn't exist," she said. "Not only did the tablet PC software provided by Optiform meet all the regulatory requirements, but it has paid for itself several times over."

Mau said Tablet PCs are now in use that allow handwritten data values to be entered directly onto on-screen case report forms using digital ink that are then converted to data on-the-fly using highly accurate handprint recognition technology. This allows for simultaneous data collection, data entry and data validation.

Tony Armstrong, president of Indiana University's Research & Technology Corp., which operates ETC, called Optiform's growth a success story that increased local investment, saved jobs and underscored the mission of both IURTC and ETC to support innovative, technology-based business development.

"In one case Optiform developed a product that automated the processing of insurance forms and cut data entry time for one customer from 12 hours to just 20 minutes," Armstrong noted. "That allowed the customer to eliminate its off-shore data entry services and bring investment and jobs back to the U.S."

To speak with Armstrong, McLaughlin or Mau, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or