Oral care startup SafeWhite hires P&G veteran

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Patent

Oral care & beauty startup SafeWhite hires P&G veteran Carlos Martinez
The signature ingredient of the company’s tooth whitening products-in-development is protein from sea life; and with this latest addition to the R&D team, SafeWhite is that much closer to perfecting, patenting, and taking the innovation to market.

The Columbus, Ohio–based company got its start in 2010 and, according to its site, is situated “at the crossroads of oral care and beauty.” ​Since then, founders Mark Shary and Scott Bridgeman have focused the business on an alternative to hydrogen peroxide tooth whitening products.

At the start of the year when SafeWhite was granted access to well over $1m in capital, the small company set out “to hire researchers such as a biomedical engineer or biochemist who specializes in proteins,” ​as Ray Shealy, CEO, told Carrie Ghose of Columbus Business First.

He told the press, as well, that “money…will go toward filing new patent applications and extensions as [SafeWhite] improves the product formula.”

Experience in the house

This month SafeWhite announced the hire of chemist Carlos Martinez. Martinez was most recently working with the DNA Diagnostics Center, according to his LinkedIn profile, where he handled business development for the paternity testing company.

Prior to that, he held several R&D and technical roles with P&G; namely, associate director of R&D for oral care, which he held for 5+ years starting in 2005. And this is likely when, as Ghose reports, Martinez “led development of whitening varieties of Crest toothpaste….such as Whitening Plus Scope, Vivid White and ProHealth.”

Product coming soon

A big chunk of the money that the company has had access to since the start of 2016 comes in the form of a $1.25m Ohio Third Frontier loan. And there were hurdles to clear before that became a reality.

SafeWhite has demonstrated to the Ohio Development Services Agency that its product is nontoxic; this, according to third-party certification.

But, that’s not all. To meet the Agency’s requirements (and, certainly for commercial reasons as well) SafeWhite “has signed a contract with a Fortune 500 consumer goods company that is evaluating the formula in its own labs for a possible licensing deal,” ​writes Ghose.

Business to be done

If all goes well for SafeWhite, there is certainly a market for a more natural, less aggressive tooth whitening product. The company itself puts the whitening market at $11bn. And with patents in the US, Australia, and South Africa, the company’s new tech is poised to capture a decent share of the global business.  

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