04 Oct IU Angel Network Invests In Indiana-Based, Dental Software Platform, Plan Forward
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis — The IU Angel Network announced a recent investment of $225,000 in the $2m financing round of Plan Forward, an innovative SaaS platform, founded by an Indiana University alumna, designed to empower dentists in offering in-house dental membership plans.
The IU Angel Network is one of the major investment programs managed by IU Ventures, IU’s early-stage venture capital and angel investment arm. Comprising IU alumni, faculty and staff, and parents of current IU students, the network spans the nation and provides support to promising startups during their initial stages of development.
Plan Forward’s technology enables dental practices to seamlessly create, manage and grow their own customized dental membership programs. With the platform’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, dentists can effortlessly design plans tailored to their patient’s needs, enhancing access to quality dental care while increasing practice revenue. By alleviating the financial burden associated with traditional insurance models, Plan Forward also empowers dentists to directly engage with their patients, fostering stronger relationships and promoting oral health as a fundamental priority.
Megan Lohman, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the founder and co-CEO of Plan Forward. The Plan Forward solution is specifically designed to meet the challenges that Lohman experienced first-hand when working in a dental practice and talking with patients.
“Half of the population does not have dental insurance, she said. “And the other half of people with dental insurance lack significant value insurance should bring.”
In 2021, Jane Levy, who has extensive experience working and investing in early-stage startups, joined as co-CEO to help reposition the product and the company for scale and accelerate the company’s growth. Together, they have discovered a supportive community of innovators and investors in Indiana, including members of the ever-expanding IU Angel Network.
“The support and close-knit nature of the Indiana community has always been exceptional, and I was initially surprised with the level of innovation present in Indiana,” Levy said.
Jason Whitney, chief venture officer at IU Ventures and the executive director of the IU Angel Network, said that Plan Forward’s rapid growth and development reflects the “passion” IU-affiliated entrepreneurs have for helping one another achieve success and for furthering IU’s mission of fostering a pervasive entrepreneurial culture across the university that contributes to Indiana’s economic prosperity.
“When starting businesses and participating in investment rounds, the love and connection people have for IU and our state becomes a driving force, inspiring individuals to chase their dreams and contribute to the growth and success of our business communities,” Whitney said. “It’s this unique blend of passion and commitment that fuels innovation and creates a thriving ecosystem for high-potential startups like Plan Forward to flourish.”
Plan Forward has set an ambitious goal to dominate the dental industry and ride a second wave of growth. With the market for membership plans reaching maturity, Plan Forward is currently scaling operations and exploring additional product markets – including vision care, dermatology and veterinary services — to increase revenue potential.
About Plan Forward
Plan Forward is the leading dental membership plan solution that lets patients pay their provider directly for their care, with the result that the provider is fairly compensated, and the patient has access to the care they need, without intervention from a payer. Learn more at planforward.io.
About IU Ventures
IU Ventures invests in and supports IU-affiliated early-stage companies. Its investment programs include the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, Shoebox Fund, and Innovate Indiana Fund. It further supports IU founders through the Executive in Residence Program and IU Founders and Funders Network. Student support is provided through a variety of engagements, including the new IU Venture Fellows Program. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. IU Ventures is a recognized leader in increasing opportunities for diverse and historically underserved entrepreneurs and investing in Indiana startups with a shared commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Emily Atkinson, PhD