Founder and CEO of DentalFynd
New York, NY
I’m the founder and CEO of DentalFynd, a company that helps people shop for dental care online. Think about it as a financial-slash-marketing tool, meaning you can actually check out for your dental care through us. If you need a whitening, you add that to your cart, put in your credit card information, get up-front pricing, and avoid surprise bills. For the provider, that deal is also really good, because they get paid on the day of service—much faster than they would through insurance.
It’s easy to shop for shoes on Amazon, it’s easy to find a
restaurant on Yelp, and it’s all very up-front pricing. There are no surprises. But with health insurance, we don’t really know the price of anything.
I went through the accelerator program at the Wharton Venture Lab in San Francisco and got grant funding. Getting accepted into that accelerator was also a way for me to find my angel investors, so it was very meaningful.
I started DentalFynd because I was frustrated with my consumer experience in terms of the ability to conveniently shop for healthcare. It’s easy to shop for shoes on Amazon, it’s easy to find a restaurant on Yelp, and it’s all up-front pricing. There are no surprises. But with health insurance, we don’t really know the price of anything. We think we’re getting a discount, but premiums go up each year, deductibles go up each year. I needed to have some dental work and realized there are few procedures that dental insurance covers. I ended up calling different practices to get a sense of cost, spending a lot of time on dentists’ websites to see if they listed prices, then cross-referencing that with sites like Top Doctors or Yelp to look at reviews.
I was in New York at the time, and it would’ve been convenient to see a dentist in Manhattan, but I ended up going to a teaching hospital in the Bronx and used my flexible spending account. I had that pain point myself in terms of not having an easy way to shop for healthcare. And with dentistry in particular, there’s a lack of coverage. So we’re facilitating a future where health insurance is truly insurance—something you use for rare catastrophic events, as opposed to expecting a third party to pay for your routine expenses.
Earlier in my career, I didn’t want to be limited in fulfilling my potential. I didn’t understand why there was friction sometimes, especially being a Black woman in technology in corporate America. I wasn’t always welcomed or in an environment where I felt like I could thrive. It seemed like people had preconceived notions of who I was and what my abilities were. Through time, I just was unapologetically my authentic self. I don’t let people make me uncomfortable or tell me what my limit is. Being an entrepreneur, you have to be able to shirk the naysayers and move past the status quo. — February 1, 2023 • Photo by Alex Schein