Laurence Freeman is the Co-Founder of Oakbay LLC a Denver, Colorado based company and serves as the Chief Executive Officer working with startup, small and medium size companies as an independent intellectual property broker and a business development service in healthcare specializing in the specific areas of digital health, medical devices and biotech. Oakbay LLC works primarily in the United States with strategic tech transfer partners in Europe and Asia. To add further value for the Oakbay LLC client base, strategic alliances have been created with several Fortune 500 companies who are either healthcare specific or have healthcare divisions within their portfolio of companies.
Born and raised in Leeds, UK, Laurence has been linked with the healthcare industry since 1978 in the optometry and eyeglass industry, initially as a licensed optician in the UK and transitioning into a business partner and ownership of multiple professional offices, retail optical stores and a wholesale / manufacturing business.
Between 1982 and 2000, Laurence travelled extensively to other north and south European countries building relationships with strategic supply chains with large, medium and small businesses to establish a “we are different” culture in the business, a key factor to the substantial increase of sales during the build timelines of all the businesses, Freeman Opticians Ltd, Optical Outlook Ltd and Sunglass Outlook Ltd.
Between 1997 and 1999, the optical professional and retail businesses achieved and beat the goal of increasing the gross revenues by 100% in 24 months. This achievement was fulfilled in 22 months.
Laurence acknowledged that everyone in the (22 people) team fully contributed towards this success.
In April 2000, Laurence sold the entire professional and retail businesses that were located in the UK and retained his 50% interest in the UK based wholesale / manufacturing business.
In October 2000, Laurence and his family relocated from Leeds UK to Carlsbad CA, United States where he created and opened Eyesight Pacific, Inc., a US company that was similar in operation to the wholesale / manufacturing in the UK. The main difference was the supply chain to company customers, the UK Company had sales representatives that covered the UK and other European countries, the US model for this aspect was to supply the industry related laboratories that had in-house eyeglass frame supply departments that are located in many states in the US. The main advantage gained was that each laboratory had a minimum of 200 customers who purchased eyeglass frames as well as other services. By 2002, Eyesight Pacific, Inc., had 14 optical laboratory customers and was importing eyeglass frames from boutique manufacturers located Germany, Italy and the UK. The “we are different” policy was adopted again as a strategic move to allow the company access into the high end retail market.
With the changing landscape in the optical professional and the independent retail eyeglass supply stores in the US, the growth of the chains and the decrease in the number of independent customers, the Eyesight Pacific, Inc., was sold to the UK wholesale company in early 2012 and relocated to Denver, Colorado.
In March 2013 a “soft launch” (to last 12 months) of Oakbay LLC was initiated. The company was initially a healthcare focused intellectual property broker with the focus on the biosciences. In January 2014, Laurence added various business development services for the Oakbay LLC for startup, small and medium size businesses in the same healthcare space. These initially were management consultancies and then a fee for service investor funding service was added. By May 2014 Laurence was appointed to two client company advisory boards and has now established non-executive full board positions on two other client companies.
Additionally, Laurence has two areas of focus for Non-Profit organizations, education and business education. For non-profit organizations in these specific areas, he is or has been a volunteer:
· Business education for startup companies, Laurence is a member of TiE Rockies, the Denver, CO chapter of the global TiE organization.
· Business education for high school seniors. Laurence works with both the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and JA Colorado (Junior Achievement). With the FBLA, Laurence has been a regional and state finals judge. For the JA Colorado organization he has been a volunteer judge at the 2015 regional finals in Denver and a volunteer teacher since 2012 at both Columbine High School and Englewood High School.