MINIMAL TEAMS UP WITH A BEVERLY HILLS DENTIST TO CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRADITIONAL "BOIL AND BITE" GUARD.
By Carly Ayers
If you played sports as a kid—or have a kid who plays sports—you're probably familiar with the cheap, ubiquitous and not terribly effective "boil and bite" mouth guards sold at most sporting-goods stores. Scott Wilson was certainly familiar with them—he remembers watching his daughter struggle to mold one in preparation for lacrosse season, with tears of frustration running down her face. "I was like, 'Okay, there has to be a better way to do this,'" says Wilson, who is the founder and CEO of the Chicago design firm MINIMAL.
So when Dr. David Frey, DDS, reached out saying he had an idea for a better mouth guard, Wilson was intrigued, and agreed to a meeting with the Beverly Hills dentist in late 2013. Frey had been using a silicone impression material called PVS in his dental practice, and wondered what would happen if the same material was used to create a mouth guard. "He had the dental putty and we made a rough prototype right there, to prove how fast it could set up—and how it could be used for protection in terms of flexibility, stamina, strength," Wilson says.
Wilson brought the idea back to his team in Chicago, where they agreed that it would be a good fit for MINIMAL's "design venture" bucket, a series of projects where the company takes an equity stake in return for providing design and development at a discounted rate. "We had to think about the opportunity, look at the market and assess the feasibility and viability," Wilson says. "We realized that the mouth-guard industry was ripe for disruption."
To read the full article, go here.