Want a brighter smile? Dr. Reizenson wants to help you do just that with his new invention CLEARsmile. Dr. Reizenson will share with you his journey on his Kickstarter campaign that was set to originally raise only 16K. But has already raised over 60K! Dr. Reizenson will speak about his targeting through Facebook marketing, and which social media outlet worked well for him. He will also share how his first campaign on Indiegogo went and how it built up for his second shot on Kickstarter.
ZacBob: Welcome back Crowdfunders. On todays show we have Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile. And he’s here to tell us about his Oral Hygiene Device currently funding on Kickstarter. And his device replaces the traditional toothbrush, paste, floss and mouth rinse with pressure washing micro bubble technology. Listen in as Dr. Reizenson explains how ClearSmile has more than tripled their goal with more time remaining.
Dr. Reizenson, tell us a little about you and where you came from, and then tell us about your product ClearSmile, Complete Oral care. Easy
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Gladly, thanks for having me on your show I greatly appreciate it and giving me the opportunity to talk about ClearSmile. Well from my name you can tell that I probably wasn’t born here. I was born in Moscow Russia and my family immigrated to the United States in 70s and I grew up in New York City. I went to dental school in upstate New York in Buffalo. While I was doing my residency program there at the Veterans Hospital. Which was one of the best professional experiences I ever had in my life. I learned a great deal from wonderful teachers up there. I would do rounds as were supposed to do and I would notice that they’re quite a few veteran patients who had difficulty just having adequate oral hygiene… Consistently. One of the things I noticed was that they were getting gum issues, they were getting fungal issues around the corner of the mouth and on the inside because the nurses who routinely take care of them, there’s no really good oral hygiene device that’s kind of for a bed ridden patient. You know if they cant brush their own teeth, they don’t really have devices there were a nurse can easily come up to them put something in their mouth turn it on and clean their teeth gums and good part of their oral cavity easily. And so they’re getting secondary infections and having issues. So that was the first time I came across folks that had a real authentic issue with oral hygiene consistently. Then I moved to Atlanta, Georgia; where I started working for sort of a mobile dental program. Mobile meaning we were seeing underprivileged kids all across the state of Georgia and we would arrive in very rural areas were there were very few dentists. So I would see kids who basically had never or almost never seen a dentist. And wow, once again I’m seeing another cohort or another group of patients whom are having issues with regular good oral hygiene. I and I started thinking how can I make something that will resolve this issue. Could there be a device that’s even easier to use than a toothbrush or floss. I started thinking you know what could I do, or what sort of device could exist, a caregiver could sort of put this cleaning mouth piece into a patients mouth or the person their taking care of. You turn it on and it cleans their teeth and your done and its neat and its consistent and works well. So that was really the impotence behind it, it was seeing little kids dependent on care givers and you know like older folks. I started trying to envision a device and came up with a few sketches and I went to a patent attorney of mine and a patent attorney looked at it and said, “That’s a great drawing. I totally get what you want, I totally see it.” We wrote up the patent, we sent it off to the USPTO the United States Patent & Trademark Office. We sent it off for approval and right after we got the patent, according to him in record time, something he had never seen, it took like 6 months.
ZacBob: Hold on one second, sorry to interrupt your story Dr. Reizenson, but did you get this patent because you were the first person to think of it? That’s why it was so fast?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: That’s a great question, and actually no. There were people who had received either patents or attempted patent pending things. The patent attorney what they do before they even try to get a patent they actually do a search like a very thorough search of the USPTO database to see if something like that already existed before they even attempt to get it in there. So he presented everything to me and there were things that were nowhere near as complicated as the device we were looking to get a patent on. So we sent it in and he made a joke that the patent clerk probably wanted one of these pretty bad! So they approved it pretty quickly, that was our little fun joke at the time.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Yes that’s a wonderful question, so the way were going to be doing this. When a person gets the device in the mail, you open up the package, you will have the actual ClearSmile device, the actual box. A tube that connects the box to three mouthpieces that are going to come in it. Each mouthpiece is an adult sized in a small, medium or large. You connect the mouthpiece to the hose and the hose to the box. Its also going to come with two months supply of cleansing tablets. Each packet is a month packet and it has 60 tablets. 60 tablets per 30 days because we make the assumption that people are going to use the cleaning device as they should two times a day. Once in the morning when they wake up and in the evening right before they go to sleep. And were going to make two lines of devices one for US voltage standard and the other ones going to be for European voltage standard. So what happens is they take it out of the box, and of course there is a set of instructions on how to use it. Its going to be very simple instructions with pictures. Kind of like Ikea style directions. Now you go into your bathroom, you get an 8 ounce glass of water, you pour it into the reservoir and you drop a cleaning tablet into the reservoir itself. You turn the device on, choose which pressure you would want, you can try a gentle, a medium and a thorough you know which is like a more powerful setting. So the reservoir now instead of being just water and a tablet has transformed into a cleansing micro bubble solution, okay, so it has some thickness to it. So you put the mouthpiece into your mouth and it will start pulsating and pressure washing your teeth and gums. Once your done your teeth and gums feel fresh, they been kind of thorough workout and should feel very fresh and clean and kind of minty. Minty is the flavor that were like a mild minty flavor is what were creating as the first flavor.
ZacBob: So you pledge for the ClearSmile on Kickstarter, receive your ClearSmile in the mail, open it up, plug it in the bathroom area, you have a mouthpiece that plugs into the machine via two hoses. You mix the tablet in with a 8 ounce glass of water in the reservoir like Alka-Seltzer and it leaves you with that nice and clean feeling like your leaving a dentist right?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Well, they at the dentist office will do things that ClearSmile doesn’t, they will scrape your teeth, with an actual metal scraper right. So it doesn’t compare to a professional dental office cleaning. You know ClearSmile replaces the traditional toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, with one easy to use device. And that was our goal and that’s how we kind of conceived it. And I think we have come, we have created exactly what we had conceptualized.
ZacBob: Well let me be one of the first to congratulate you and your team on a job well done. So tell me Dr. Reizenson, what lead you to Kickstarter instead of the other crowdfunding platforms out there?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Well that’s a great question. Last year we did try a different platform. So we went to a site called Indiegogo over a year ago. You know I don’t think we had a really well focused campaign. So ill put it on us because it was our first time doing crowdfunding and my team and I were not really versed in it well.
ZacBob: If you don’t mind sharing what was your original goal on Indiegogo?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Our original goal was we were trying to raise $750,000 dollars. That’s a lot.
ZacBob: Again, if you don’t mind sharing did you get close?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: It was a big stretch but… No it didn’t even come close (laughter).
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Well that’s another great questions, at the time when we did the Indiegogo campaign we tried to use Kickstarter at the time. But at the time Kickstarter was not doing medical devices. It wouldn’t allow our category of device. They were doing like art projects, games, you know movies, songs. Whatever it was it was more the humanities based things that they were featuring verses like science or technology. But in the past four months Kickstarter expanded the categories that they allowed crowdfunding and devices, or electronic medical devices is one of them.
ZacBob: I heard about Kickstarter becoming more lenient on who they let and don’t let into their platform. Lets bring the focus back to your goal on Kickstarter. It was much less than the previously mentioned goal on Indiegogo. You had a $16,500 dollar goal on Kickstarter, and your now sitting at $57,753 dollars with more time to go. Did you know you were going to go over that $16,000 dollar goal?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Not at all, you never know, you dream and you hope. But when we started it like I said medical devices on Kickstarter were a very new category. So we didn’t know if the folks who go on Kickstarter the audience the usual customary backers if they’re going to be into that sort of thing. You know is a very new category to open up. We just kind of went into it and said look, lets see how it goes. We didn’t realize it was going to take off like it did.
ZacBob: Lets talk about your pledge amounts a little. I noticed you had a 99 dollar early bird special to purchase the ClearSmile and that sold out. And you had another 6 pledge amounts and they all remained plain and simple is that right?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: That’s right, we tried to do everything to be as simple as possible. So that it makes a lot of sense to as many people as possible you know. So we said you know what lets do the first 99 backers 99 dollars its our way of showing gratitude and appreciation with people connecting with us and believing in us. That sold out in I think the first two days that it was out and then we went to $125 which would be the normal single device.
ZacBob: And everybody can still get that and its still a $75 dollar savings.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: And that’s still $75 dollars off that’s right. And if we reach our push goal they’ll get a whole second set of mouthpieces and an extra 6 months supply in addition to their two months supply of tablets. So they’ll also get 8 months supply of cleansing tablets.
ZacBob: So when do you plan on delivering?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Our goal is to have these devices in peoples hands by December, by the holidays you know the winter holidays of 2015. So we figured its cool to get one for yourself but it might be cool to get two and give one as a gift so that’s why we created the $250.
ZacBob: And what was your final, or your largest pledge amount?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: The final one that we just put up recently was the $500 dollar level. So we created the $500 dollar pledge and that’s were you get two devices and I’m going hand write a thank you and my signature with the persons name on it and date it.
ZacBob: You said two devices but its three devices for $500 right?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Oh excuse me three devices is the correct.
ZacBob: And you already have 3 backers for that.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: 3 backers right? So yea, amazing to me I’m just, I’m just very impressed and pleased that the campaign is going so well and we haven’t even hit the halfway mark yet.
ZacBob: Well don’t get to satisfied yet, you have to hit that 100 thousand dollar stretch mark yet!
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Yea I know that’s what were striving for now by reaching out to folks like yourself at CrowdFund Genius and you know any other outlets that we can possibly scream from the rooftops what were doing and who we are.
ZacBob: Lets move onto the crowdfunding video. Be sure to tell us about how you came up with the idea, and if you hired anyone be sure to give them a plug here so our audience knows where to find them.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: So we created the video like I said about a year ago. For the Indiegogo campaign originally, we had hired a PR company called Go Creative Go. And you can find them on GoCreativeGo.com They hired a professional videographer, we scheduled an afternoon, we had a loose script. The videographer sent me some questions that I should be ready to discuss they would be able to edit everything down into the clips that you guys see.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: This company took care of me that’s why I hired them your absolutely right. I’ve have invested quite a lot of money into this device because I really believe in it. I’ve invested into two different public relations companies because its one of the most important things.
ZacBob: So moving onto media and blogger attention, have you been featured on TechCrunch or any major websites?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: We have not been featured on TechCrunch but who knows they might reach out to us there is still plenty of time.
ZacBob: I hear you were featured on History channels Modern Marvels?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: They had created these incredible displays for each of our devices for the people in the competition. And we meet with some very important people, one of the important people I met with there was Steve Wozniak who is the co-founder of Apple computers. I got to meet with Steve Wozniak face to face for like 5-6 minutes went over in detail about how the ClearSmile worked and you know had a discussion with him.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Oh he loved it. And that’s what I still vividly remember this moment because most people would find it most impressive to meet someone like that.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: We tried Twitter but I don’t think we were getting particularly much useful activity. Pinterest is very good because I’ve seen our device the image of ClearSmile, you know quite of few people are trading this image saying hey this is really cool, check this out, I like this. You know Pinterest is very good and of course Facebook is the best. We’ve been doing boosting on Facebook pretty consistently and were going to do another boost probably in a day or two.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Yes absolutely, a boost is very simple, you cant have a long paragraph when you boost, its got to be a sentence or two and what we write is “Hi ClearSmile is on, is on…..”
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Kickstarter! Yeah excuse me, its getting late. “ClearSmile is on Kickstarter please join us on our crowdfunding campaign and pre-order a device.” You know pre-order a ClearSmile. But that’s basically the point so we been focused on that we boost on that and we get lots of likes and it reaches out internationally not just nationally. And we’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback and I think the boosting on Facebook has definitely brought people to the Kickstarter campaign. I definitely think so.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: That’s a good question yes, we actually, well our audience is so general, we do put in some specific delineations but there so general anyway they will be like people over the age of 22, male, female I think we got both. I think we had something like parents, because you know it’s geared towards families and caregivers, so that’s some of the categories we focused on. And we focused on like I said not just nationally but internationally. Hitting some of the larger overseas markets that we thought would be pretty good initial fit for what we were doing.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Yes, I looked at the Kickstarter dashboard and one of the last times I checked, I think 25% of the backers were directly from Kickstarter, then there was a breakdown, when you go on the Kickstarter dashboard you can see a percentage of where the traffic is coming from so you can track it and try to custom tailor your PR to reach your audience as best as possible.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: That’s a good question, I don’t think we have been. I don’t think so. I didn’t even think of checking and I don’t know if they do a pop up or something to let you know. You know how they would reach out to me, but I don’t think, well they reached out to me on my first night. We got a message from Kickstarter that said “Hey you had a great night congratulations on your crowdfunding campaign.” So that was very nice but I don’t think we’ve been a staff pick.
ZacBob: Was there a turning point in your campaign when the pledges just started pouring in?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Yes what a great questions. Anyone will tell you that the turning point is when you finally reach your first initial goal. You know you reach your goal, and everyone calls each other on staff and were like congratulations this is a big deal you know. This is a big win, we’ve been working on this for a year and a half or so. Or you know closer to two years, so about two years we’ve been gearing up to do this campaign, so it was a big watershed moment when we actually hit our goal. That was amazing, but besides that obvious moment the first night when I checked my emails, the way Kickstarter works is that whenever you get a pledge you immediately on your email get a Kickstarter alert that you got a pledge for this amount and the persons name or whatever their handle is. Like I said the first night I wasn’t really expecting, you know it was six o’clock in the evening and people whatever there doing they’re probably going to do it in the daytime. So I wasn’t expecting much action in that evening and I think we got like 25 or 35 hits that evening, but that morning time when I checked, because people had been going to it that whole night which is another thing I didn’t expect and we had gotten like 45 people which was jaw dropping. For me it was very powerful and moving actually, my wife and I and my staff and I were looking like wow, people really want this, we knew it, we felt it but to have that confirmed in reality was fantastic and gratifying. It was quite a wonderful moment right there.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: hmm. I haven’t thought of that that’s a very good question. They actually have been very, very good. They’re very transparent the only thing I could think of is it’s always nice to have like a 800 number if you need support, but they have support were you could just connect with them you just have to email them. You know there’s a person you can email for comments but the one thing I like to personally do is I like to talk to an actual person on the phone sometimes. And that’s the only thing I could’ve think of that I actually enjoyed. As a perk, is that one thing? Because everything else that they have, is, they’ve been around for awhile now and I think they’ve worked out all the kinks and they’ve already probably incorporated most of the great suggestions that have come their way.
ZacBob: Okay now were done to our final two questions. Question number 1, what is the one thing you wish you knew coming into your campaign?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: What’s the one thing I wish I knew that I would’ve done differently?
ZacBob: Exactly. Or something that you didn’t know or learned after you had launched your campaign.
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: I think the only one thing; I would’ve created a completely separate email account to use for Kickstarter so that when I get Kickstarter alerts. Right now we have 400 or close to 400 backers, so imagine getting close to 400 emails on your regular email account that all say Kickstarter alert pledge. And I’m a doctor so I need to actually review my other emails that people are trying to get to me. So the one thing I would’ve done is created a completely separate and new email that would’ve been just for the Kickstarter accounts. You know Kickstarter pledges that way I could track what was going on this Kickstarter email that would not be overlapping with my regular personal and professional emails. You see what I’m saying.
ZacBob: I totally understand and that’s the first time we heard that on CrowdFund Genius but I think it’s a small, excellent tip that is probably, commonly overlooked. Speaking of tips, what is the best tip or best advice you can give to someone out there listening hoping to accomplish their own project goal?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: Okay one, I couldn’t have done this without my professional PR company, Vocus. So I found this company called Vocus, online and its one of the largest PR online companies that there is. Their very professional, I have had a wonderful experience with them, I’ve worked with one person their whose handled the project from start to finish. His name is Erin Apple and I give him tremendous thanks, gratitude and respect for his knowledge and insights. He has been a very big part in being able to create the campaign and figure things out that would work well like simplify our pledges, helping me write what were going to do for each pledge, the biography, and all of those things, putting everything together. Kickstarter campaign’s technology wise are very challenging for people who are not possibly very computer comfortable or computer literate. I would go to Erin and be like can you please fix this, move this, swap this image out and upload this. That was very important and the other thing I didn’t know this at the time but Kickstarter doesn’t allow photo realistic anything of your device. If its not s snapshot real photograph of your device, they will not let you have a photo realistic computer rendering of it. We had to swap out our images last minute with the simple cad cam images you see on the site right now. We actually have strikingly beautiful photorealistic imagery of what the device will look like but they would not allow it so we had to go to that. So that was something interesting and important to be aware of, otherwise I can’t think of anything else. You know my wife has been super supportive thank god I couldn’t do it without her, her health. The rest of our staff, Justin who is apart of our group here and its just been a really great ride. And I’ve had other people helping me along the way but I’m not just going to go through the list.
ZacBob: Well I appreciate it Dr. Reizenson, for coming on the show and sharing this great crowdfunding info. Any last words?
Dr. Reizenson from ClearSmile: This has been a wonderful experience, I thank you very much ZacBob for getting in touch with me and creating this show for us and thank goodness for your show CrowdFund Genius. And its just been a wonderful learning experience, I’m looking forward to getting this device out to our backers, and getting this device out in a much bigger way. As I said on our campaign the whole point of our campaign is to attract some venture capital to make our company much bigger and reach out to a much larger audience than what we are doing right now through Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a wonderful way to get the ball rolling.
ZacBob: Well said doctor, and make sure you get your ClearSmile today. I want to thank everyone listening today. If you know someone who might benefit from this show, or if you know any entrepreneurs interested in crowdfunding make sure to tell them about CrowdFund Genius. Thank you for listening and remember to hit subscribe so you can get updates and wont miss out on any episodes. AS always happy crowdfunding and ZacBob out!
ClearSmile Kickstarter campaign click HERE
ClearSmile Pinterest HERE
ClearSmile Facebook HERE
ClearSmile Website HERE
Vocus PR company HERE
Go-Creative-Go Video production company HERE