Baton Rouge: LED Secretary Stephen Moret and LocalMed CEO Keith English announced that the startup company will create 52 new direct jobs in Baton Rouge, supporting LocalMed LLC's online and mobile technology platform that enables doctors, dentists and patients to schedule, manage and remember their appointments 24 hours a day. The software development company's new direct jobs will pay an average salary of $52,000, plus benefits, and LED estimates the project will result in an additional 53 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 100 new jobs in the Capital Region.
Twin brothers Daniel and Derek Gilbert devised LocalMed's business concept after Daniel Gilbert faced the challenge of juggling as many as eight different medical appointments a week while battling cancer. Upon entering remission, Daniel Gilbert joined his brother in cofounding LocalMed in 2011. They later attracted investors including English, who joined the company as CEO in May. LocalMed's strategic partnerships include a deal to place its scheduling software in more than 2,000 Stayhealthy kiosks nationwide, including locations in Kroger and other stores. More strategic partnerships in the healthcare industry will be announced in early 2013, when iTunes and Android apps also will debut.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "LocalMed is a homegrown, 'made-in-Louisiana' story that makes us proud. LocalMed is an extremely attractive, high-tech venture that could have chosen other states to build its headquarters – the company even looked at establishing its offices in Texas or Florida before choosing Louisiana. The company's decision to come to Baton Rouge is the latest example that our state is becoming a beacon for the digital media and technology industries. We have a proud heritage of supporting jobs in the oil and gas industry or the chemical industry, but now we are diversifying our economy, and cities like Baton Rouge are becoming the next Austin and the next Silicon Valley where entrepreneurs and risk-takers are coming to change the face of technology and create good-paying jobs for our people."
LocalMed's platform will allow patients to find doctors and dentists in their local area, schedule their medical appointments via a Web or mobile application, and remember their appointments through calendar sync and alerts. Doctors, dentists and other medical providers will use the same platform to promote, track and manage their appointments without tying up staff time. The LocalMed platform will allow patients to explore medical options online, determine which physicians fit their insurance plans, and find maps and directions instantaneously. Physicians will pay fees for new patients attracted through the platform while patients may use the service at no cost.
LED began discussing incentive options with LocalMed in August. To secure the project, the state will provide LocalMed with the services of the nation's No. 1-ranked state workforce training program – LED FastStart™ – at no cost. In addition, the company is expected to utilize the Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, as well as Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program.
"We are extremely pleased and excited that the State of Louisiana, Governor Jindal and Louisiana Economic Development have seen the value in investing the time and resources in LocalMed," English said. "Programs like FastStart and the Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive have convinced us to stay in Louisiana and develop our company in Baton Rouge."
English joined the company after building multiple successful telecommunications and Web-based firms, including LeadRev, a $36 million-a-year business when Selling Source LLC acquired LeadRev and English's majority stake in 2008. At the time, LeadRev delivered more than 250,000 customer leads per month in the microloan, auto finance and specialty finance marketplace. The rollout of LocalMed's flagship product in early 2013 will be joined by additional business deals that will help LocalMed gain a projected 1,000 physician and dental practice customers by the end of 2013 and 3,000 medical practices by the end of 2014. The company will begin its next round of fundraising in late 2013 to support that growth.
"We are pleased to welcome LocalMed to Baton Rouge," said Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden. "This innovative and new software development company truly exemplifies the Creative Capital of the South. We look forward to helping them grow and expand their business in the Capital Region."
By the end of the year, LocalMed will employ 12 at its Sherwood Forest Boulevard office. The company will add another 10 to 15 employees in information technology, marketing, sales, customer service and operations during 2013, with employment ramping up to 38 by 2015 and 52 the following year.
At the Louisiana Business & Technology Center's LSU Student Incubator, LocalMed became one of four firms to win venture funding in 2012 at the LBTC Venture Challenge, a competition held each April.
"We founded the LBTC/LSU Student Incubator in 2010 to stop the brain drain of great LSU graduates who often found employment outside the state," said LBTC Executive Director Charles D'Agostino. "We now have nearly 15 full-time companies that have started this way and are employing more than 35 students and full-time employees."