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Your 9-to-5 Could Prepare You to Launch Your Industry's Next Disruptive Innovation

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Reza Izadi is anything but a normal dentist. His app startup emerged from his private dental practice, where he saw a problem with traditional interaction between dentists and their patients. With seed money from savings and colleagues, he aims to disrupt the way patients find their dentists. His app, Denteractive, is like Yelp -- for toothaches.


Why did you chose to create a startup in your industry?

I have been fortunate to be part of a very rewarding profession for the past 20-plus years. Dentistry is a mix of art, science, direct patient care, technology and business. I absolutely love my profession, but I also have seen the challenges that patients and dentists face every day. We made as a bridge to bring dental consumers and dentists closer through technology. Our goal is to enhance patient relationship management for dentists while providing consumers easier and more comprehensive access to dental care.

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How did your colleagues react to your endeavors?

Most of my colleagues were aware of the challenges we face in our profession and were very open to the idea. Through their support and countless iterations with many professionals, we were able to develop a very complete product that uniquely addresses the challenges dental consumers and dentists face every day.

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How does it help also being a user of your own product?

We knew the core needs and expectations of our dental consumers, and we also considered the realistic practice limits and value Denteractive would bring dentists. We recognized the importance of protecting patient-dentist privacy laws.

If you had one piece of advice to give others looking to create a startup in their field of expertise, what would it be?

Believe in your product and your abilities, but be realistic in your expectations and about the energy it will require to succeed. Recruit a team whose members will be able to complement one another's expertise. Find key partnerships and make alliances that will help scale your product, and enjoy the process because it will be transforming.

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Any other thoughts for experts looking to starting a business?

Always start with a minimally viable product to find a fit in the market. Then find resources to help scale faster as you're perfecting the product. Have a good exit strategy and try to reach realistic goals throughout the process.

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