Mark, you're be man behind the world's first instant teeth whitener that actually protects your teeth! Tell us about yourself.
I have always wanted to create my own business and always had an idea or 4 but never the right one! After working as a graduate at Mars (In their food and pet-care business… never chocolate!) I went to Boots as a Senior Buyer and saw many different companies and became intoxicated by the possibilities of innovation.
So just before I got married I leaped from the corporate world to set up a business that creates awesome and distinctive products packed with innovation to make people look and feel better than if not using our products. Two years, one marriage, two knee operations, a one year old daughter and an infinite amount of business and personal learning’s later, we are now launching our second brand, TINT.
How did you come up with the idea for TINT?
I was intrigued by the tension between the millions that want white teeth and those few that actually feel like they can do something about it. We set out to democratise white teeth and be the reason the World can smile more.
We knew that 85% of people want whiter smiles yet less than 10% of the UK do anything about it in terms of product purchase in shops, online or in dental surgeries. We dug into why this difference exists and found 4 reasons that people do not access whitening...
It is too expensive
People are nervous of the results
People are nervous of product safety
People cannot use most techniques as they have caps, crown or veneers
So we created TINT, an unashamedly instant, easy and accessible technique to whiten smiles that solves each of these issues by being as affordable and easy to apply as make-up, guarantees shade, is a certified medical device and can be used on natural and un-natural teeth.
A lot of budding entrepreneurs are often worried about securing funding for their projects, how did you fund TINT?
By funding it out of our own pockets and aligning with joint venture partners to give them skin in the game in order to develop TINT (Plus the obligatory ducking and diving to make it happen!)
Tell us about the formula and how it works to protect your teeth whilst whitening them at the same time.
We developed the TINT technology from surgical gastro-intestinal technology. We altered a known polymer system and made it suitable for application in the mouth, whereby we can add numerous active ingredients into our patent-pending technology and proliferate many different products in the years to come besides pure aesthetic, white / colour effects.
Are the effects of TINT permanent?
NO. We are unashamedly temporary in terms of enabling Instant White Teeth. However, our professional range does include Calcium Hydoxyl Apatite which is proven to strengthen the enamel and will have enduring positive effects for consumers.
The beauty industry is so competitive, what made you want to get into it?
Great question. A little bit of anarchy, a little bit of beautiful naivety and a whole heap of belief in an insight and a solution that is completely unique in the marketplace, across all markets in the World.
Tell us about the journey up to launch.
After investigating numerous niche opportunities in the dental market we settled on developing this technology due to its uniqueness and future potential scope. Our first prototype actually absorbed stain… NOT a good look for our first testers!
After over 100 different versions we took a workable prototype to the UK’s biggest dental show, the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) at the Birmingham NEC. There we garnered support of over 1,000 dental professionals who wanted us to launch the concept and captured over 300 dental surgeries who would want to sell it.
After this we got our butts into gear and initiated clinical trials to verify the product and started in earnest to work with our manufacture to produce this complex bit of kit… Which is constantly a challenge, even know as writing responses at midnight!
In fact, we are right now launching TINT professional at the 2016 BDIA show here in London, so there is a nice symmetry at play to our story.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I was told the key is bouncing back from temporary set-backs without losing any energy or enthusiasm! That is the difference between those that do and those that do not… The challenge is putting this into action, as running your own business challenges everything that you did and did not know about life, work and the reality that they are of course one in the same thing!
Do you have plans to expand your product range?
Yes, our patent means we could spin the product in lots of directions and we are having early conversations with global innovation teams in some of the World largest Dental companies to see if we can partner to develop.
How have you been enjoying TINT's success?
Rarely, if at all! We just focus on solving the next problem that lands on our door and try to find a way to deliver better solutions within the constraints of tight resources that all(/most) of us start-ups perennially find ourselves in!
Click here to find out more about TINT.