Premier oral health accelerator selects 5 startups and announces 21 participating partners to validate and scale solutions
BOSTON & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CareQuest Innovation Partners, a company focused on validating and scaling solutions to improve the oral health of all, in partnership with MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, today announced the second cohort of startups selected to participate in SMILE Health, a program for solutions that make oral health more accessible, equitable, and integrated with overall health. In addition, they announced a robust roster of industry-leading partners that will support the program.
In the second year of the program, SMILE Health put out a global call to innovators and received 100 applications from startup companies spanning 11 countries and 24 states across the U.S. Twelve companies were tapped to complete interviews and, after a rigorous review process, five startup companies have been selected. The cohort includes wearables, AI tools, remote care, and early detection solutions.
“The volume of high-quality solutions submitted to the program demonstrates the high unmet need and opportunity for innovation in oral health and its integration into overall health,” said Mariya Filipova, chief innovation officer of CareQuest Innovation Partners. “SMILE Health has phenomenal momentum; we’ve grown the footprint of market-leading organizations supporting this best-in-class program to propel validated solutions and transform oral health.”
Since its launch in mid-March, SMILE Health has attracted 21 industry-leading organizations spanning the medical, dental, consumer goods, venture capital, and insurance industries as well as academia to serve as key partners. These partners will provide SMILE Health startups with the opportunity to test and refine solutions, business models, and product-market fit in real-world settings by designing and steering data-driven validation studies over 6-8-weeks.
The growing list of partners includes (in alphabetical order):
42 North Dental
Apple Tree Dental
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Delta Dental of Massachusetts
Delta Dental of Washington
Demos Funds, LLC
Dental Network of America
DentaQuest, a Sun Life Company
Henry Schein, Inc.
Pacific Dental Services
Reveal Health Tech
W Health Ventures
“SMILE Health is taking a unique approach to rapidly validate and deploy solutions designed to address dental access, equity, and integration,” said Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S. “Supporting this program aligns directly with our mission to improve the oral health of all, and we are excited to support the development of these novel innovations as they become viable opportunities to fill critical gaps in the market.”
“At Pacific Dental Services, our passion lies in creating healthier, happier patients,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services. “Joining hands with like-minded partners in SMILE Health enables us to leverage our collective strengths, drive innovation, and tackle crucial challenges within the dental industry. Together, we empower startups to flourish and make meaningful contributions to the advancement of dental care, driving innovative solutions for better oral health that benefit everyone.”
“We are excited to participate in the SMILE Health program, joining many premier organizations aligned to advancing innovation and supporting novel start-ups,” said Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein. “Henry Schein has a heritage of growth through innovation and a history of support for health care professionals and the patients they serve. Our participation in the SMILE Health program reflects our commitment to advancing oral health.”
In addition to Impact Partners, SMILE Health has also added more than 100 reviewers, mentors, and faculty to support startups throughout the 10-week program.
“The success of last year’s SMILE Health accelerator proved the need for this program and the enormous value that can be created by facilitating validation studies for promising startups,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “We are honored to work with CareQuest Innovation Partners this year to continue the program and support CareQuest’s vision for the future of oral health.”
The program culminates on October 8, 2023 in a demo day as part of a dedicated systemic health program at HLTH.
Learn more about the startup cohort:
Biolectrics — Cleveland, Ohio
Biolectrics is commercializing OraFlow, a prescription oral care device that uses microcurrent stimulation to treat periodontitis, the sixth most prevalent health condition in the world. OraFlow overcomes barriers of treatment acceptance by providing a painless, cost-effective take-home treatment for patients who would otherwise avoid care.
Grin — New York, New York
Grin is reinventing oral care, for everyone. With Grin’s imaging and remote diagnostic solution, patients are connected to doctors remotely, bringing patient convenience, reduction in overhead and access to responsible care. Grin strives to empower consumers to take control of their own oral health by seeing for the first time what is happening within their mouths and connecting them to accessible resources and diagnostics encouraging preventive care.
Kare Mobile — Louisville, Kentucky
Kare Mobile helps dentists solve for increased productivity and enhanced patient experience. Operating as a mobile dental services organization, Kare Mobile is poised to close the access gap to oral healthcare through their proprietary single operator vans that they manufacture. Their technology division provides an enterprise solution through proprietary software that assists in automating the scheduling process for both mobile and stationary scheduling. Kare Mobile utilizes teledentistry as a tool to better streamline scheduling and increase productivity for the provider and improve outcomes for the patients.
Incisive Technologies — Melbourne, Australia
Incisive’s mission is to advance oral healthcare with innovative tools that will accelerate solutions to the global challenge of tooth decay. Incisive has developed BlueCheck, a highly sensitive, easy-to-use, objective measure of early stage caries to support the paradigm of minimally invasive care. Intellectual property protection extends across all the major global jurisdictions, and they expect BlueCheck to disrupt the current standard of care. CareQuest Innovation Partners is an investor in Incisive Technologies.
Lura — Boston, Massachusetts
Wearable blood/interstitial fluid-based monitors disrupted blood-based monitoring from ex vivo (outside the body) lab tests to continual in-body measurements. The same will be true with saliva. Lura Health is leading the way with a first-in-class salivary diagnostic in-mouth wearable for continual health and disease measurements.
About CareQuest Innovation Partners
CareQuest Innovation Partners propels solutions that transform oral health. Together with investors, innovators, entrepreneurs, care providers, and community partners, we validate and scale new ways to improve overall health through oral health. Joined by the shared mission to improve the oral health of all, CareQuest Innovation Partners is the for-profit subsidiary of CareQuest Institute. To learn more, visit carequestinnovation.com.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care, and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.