Inc. Magazine’s just-released 12th annual “30 Under 30” list includes two wunderkinds who started the subscription invisible aligner subscription service SmileDirectClub. With a current network of more than 200 orthodontists and dentists overseeing treatment, SmileDirectClub is “really about opening up the market share, rather than taking away business from orthodontists,” according to 28-year-old co-founder Alex Fenkell.
Fenkell met Jordan Katzman, 27, when they were braces-wearing 13 years olds at summer sleep-away camp. They stayed friends after that awkward summer and initially combined their entrepreneurial spirits and talents to create a successful car-detailing business. They went on the develop a “Want” button that they sold to companies to add to their websites so consumers could create a single shopping list pulled from multiple sites.
Looking for their next adventure, they reminisced about that summer when they suffered through braces and came up with SmileDirectClub. Prospective patients with mild to moderate tooth-moving needs can either order a DIY impression kit online or visit one of several brick-and-mortar facilities for a digital impression. If accepted for treatment, patients get a treatment plan and receive a pair of aligners monthly.
You can read the deets about Fenkell and Katzman here, and about SmileDirectClub here. Incidentally, in July 2016, Align Technology, maker of Invisalign, acquired a 17% share in SmileDirectClub and is now the exclusive supplier of SmileDirectClub’s aligners. Smart business indeed.