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Smilo's products are designed to be healthy for babies and easy on parents' eyes

Smilo's products are designed to be healthy for babies and easy on parents' eyes
From TechCrunch - August 15, 2017

For a basic baby item, picking the right pacifier is surprisingly daunting. Many new parents have no idea how many different pacifiers are on the market until they are staring bleary-eyed at store shelves. Babies are also notoriously picky about their soothers and often reject several brands before finding their favorite, but its also important to use pacifiers that wont hinder teeth development.

Founded by a team including a biomedical engineer, dentist and industrial designer, Smilo is a new direct-to-consumer brand that wants to make buying pacifiers and other essential baby products easier for parents. The site launches today and has received $3.25 million so far in seed funding from Brand Foundry and Norwest Venture Partners. Its first lineup of products include pacifiers, bottles designed to reduce gas or ear infections and accessories like snack containers and pacifier clips that dont damage baby clothing.

Smilo chief executive Josh Wiesman and medical advisor Dr. David Tesini, a dentist, have licensed their patents for medical devices and other products to other companies for more than 20 years. They decided to launch an e-commerce company after seeing a gap in the market for functional but attractive baby products.

Wiesman patented his first pacifier design while he was still a sophomore in college. He first became interested in getting a medical or dental device patent while brainstorming ways to increase his chances of getting into medical or dental school. During winter break, he went to Dr. Tesini for a routine teeth cleaning. After spying a patent displayed on the wall, Wiesman told his dentist that he hoped to get his own patent, too. Dr. Tesini pulled out a folder for a pacifier that he stopped working on in 1985 and the two began a 20-year collaboration.

The two also founded TW Innovations, which makes pediatric orthodontic devices. Wiesman says he feels that there isnt a big difference between creating medical devices and making baby supplies. The design and problem-solving process is the same. I think the opportunity to create amazing, game-changing products in the baby and child space is really what motivated me to make the switch, he says.

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