An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Jon Lensing (co-founder and CEO) of OpenLoop, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of OpenLoop – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
I grew up in small town, rural Iowa. As a kid, I thought my dad was the best doctor in the world. Patients were driving from all over the state, some even spending an entire day commuting for their appointments. As I got older, I realized that even though my dad was a great doctor, he was one of the only specialists in the state.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I decided to go to medical school at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine to become a physician. During my time in graduate school, I realized there was an opportunity to make an even larger bigger impact on the healthcare industry. By combining my passion for healthcare with my desire to bridge the care gap across the United States, the concept of OpenLoop was born.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
My co-founder, Christian Williams, and I launched OpenLoop in January 2020 and shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Just as we were breaking into the in-person medical staffing space, we quickly began offering up clinician services free of charge to Iowa hospitals in need of hands-on support for testing and triaging. It was at this time that we identified an area we could make a lasting impact and provide immediate assistance to facilities near and far – powering the delivery of telehealth.
Another hurdle we encountered was finding the right, local experts to join our team. Building an unbeatable culture and delivering outstanding services are a huge priority for us, so making sure we had the right team in place to achieve that mission took time. Today, we’re 40 innovators strong and proud to be headquartered right here in Iowa.
What does the future hold for OpenLoop?
The future is incredibly promising for OpenLoop. With the boom in demand for telehealth across a variety of specialties and client concerns, our vision to power healing anywhere by supporting virtual care services in all 50 states has quickly become a reality.
We are in the process of further optimizing our application to match the evolving industry demands and our scaling clients’ needs. That means our comprehensive tech stack will allow for our telehealth clients to seamlessly offload all of their backend challenges to us, including credentialing, scheduling of patient visits, and even EHR management.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Des Moines?
We are incredibly proud to call Des Moines our headquarters, and to do our part in making a Midwest healthtech company a national name.
The numerous startup incubators and programs here are doing a tremendous job in fueling Iowa’s startup community and bringing some of the brightest minds to the metro. Not only have we received ample support and mentorship from fellow leaders, but we have also had the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with others striving to make an impact in the space. I thoroughly enjoy sitting on industry panels, leading area entrepreneurship clubs, and meeting with peers brainstorming ways to continue evolving.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can give to aspiring entrepreneurs is to just do it. The hardest part is overcoming the initial obstacle of making the decision to pursue your idea wholeheartedly. Take action, make decisions, pivot quickly, and jump in with both feet.