Ron Blum Launches New Venture, a Resource for Optical Inventors


ROANOKE, Va.—Optical inventor and entrepreneur Ron Blum is launching a new online venture for those with similar pursuits. Called (VCI), it is described by Blum as “an interactive knowledge exchange dedicated to identifying, supporting, and promoting today’s and tomorrow’s most innovative and impactful eyecare inventions and inventors.”

Blum, who is also an optometrist, serves as VCI’s president and CEO. Among his accomplishments is being involved with 500 issued patents or patent applications pending worldwide for products he has invented, co-invented or managed the invention and development, including an eye drop treatment for presbyopia, dual surface progressive addition lenses, composite optics involving single vision and multifocal lenses, a selective high energy blue light filter and electronic focus eyeglasses.

As an entrepreneur, Blum has founded or been associated with founding over 10 companies in the vision care space, including PixelOptics, Innotech and The Egg Factory, an incubator for new optical technologies that consists of companies such as High Performance Optics, which has developed selective, high energy blue light wave length filtering technology and Encore Vision, which is developing a topical ophthalmic pharmaceutical treatment for presbyopia. Although Blum maintains an ownership stake in The Egg Factory, he noted that VCI is a separate venture.

Blum has recruited several industry veterans for VCI’s management team, including Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO, serving as vice president, media communications; Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, in charge of the VCI blog, white papers and IP intelligence and Marguerite McDonald, MD, FACS, contributing editor.

McDonald, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at NYU School of Medicine in Manhattan, and an adjunct clinical professor of Ophthalmology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, also serves on VCI’s advisory board, which includes several other notable optical industry figures:
• Rick Elias, a senior vice president for optical and specialty materials at PPG Industries who helped manage and grow Transitions Optical into a major force in the optical industry.
• Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council and past president and CEO of Titmus Optical and Carl Zeiss Optical.
• Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, an ophthalmologist and internationally recognized leader in corneal, cataract, refractive and laser surgery and a past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
• Jim Sheedy, OD, PhD, a professor at Pacific University’s College of Optometry and expert in progressive lens design, vision ergonomics, especially with electronic displays.

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