Steve Seigel of Flossy.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a multi-time entrepreneur with a focus on digital health. I have a desire to build in areas that can change peoples lives, but also feel tangible and accessible.
Healthcare affects everyone and I am proud to be helping people live healthier lives. Before my career in tech, I spent time on Wall Street as an investment banker and hedge fund investor.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
Startups are glorified and measured by “fundraising announcements”. The big misconception is that the outcomes in venture are binary where you are constantly tightroping between failure and success.
I don’t think people realize how much is asked of entrepreneurs to deliver with such limited time and resources.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
The ability to listen. Being able to listen to your customers, colleagues, investors and then take that information and digest it in real time is truly something I have been able to refine as an entrepreneur.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Build only in areas where you are truly passionate.
I think it is so important, especially when recruiting early on, if people can feel the mission they get excited about taking a chance on you and your vision.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
I have always believed that being a founder is not a career choice but a life choice. It is extremely challenging to balance both but nothing is more rewarding than building from scratch.
I feel that some people are wired to build and for the longest time I have always had the desire to create. That being said, I have the most amazing and supportive wife in the world so that helps!!
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
My co-founder, Miles Beckett and I had both worked in healthcare technology for a long time and so we knew the general space very well.
However, one area that we saw that was incredibly underserved and lacked innovation was the dental category.
We looked into it, and found that $140 billion is spent on dental care in the US annually, yet more than ⅓ of the country has no coverage and has to pay completely out of pocket if they want to see a dentist.
Not only that, but it can be very hard to find a quality dentist and one that has same day, next day or weekend availability when you are in need of an emergency procedure.
We knew there had to be a better way to find quality dental care and pay for it, so we started Flossy.
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
We are providing a service that no one else has been able to offer until now. Affordable, accessible dental care for everyone. In our earliest days, we spoke to our customers non stop to figure out exactly what they wanted to see from Flossy.
This was crucial for both shaping the product roadmap and finding initial fit. Today, Flossy is the first pay-as-you-go discount dental solution that connects patients to a highly rated dentist at an affordable price, with discounts of up to 50%.
And it benefits the dentists too. We help elevate the clinician by building them a beautiful, custom profile and collating all of their reviews from across the internet.
Additionally, clinicians receive payment for their services from Flossy in 15 days drastically outpacing the standard 60-90 day pay out that they receive from dental insurance companies.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
A lot of our sales have been from positive word of mouth from our customers. After they use Flossy and see how affordable and easy the online booking is, they are huge advocates for us.
We are very proud that Flossy has a Net Promoter Score of 84, compared to the average dentist who has an NPS of 2. People rarely rave about their dental experience, but with Flossy’s concierge-like experience and affordable pricing, we’ve had incredible traction and loyalty.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?
The innovation that is happening in California is invigorating and inspiring to us at Flossy.
We are headquartered in Los Angeles and are constantly connecting with other entrepreneurs in the healthcare space who are just like us–passionate about making healthcare better for everyone.
We both have lived in California for many years and are grateful that we can operate our business here.
What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?
Pre-pandemic, we would have been geo-constrained to hire in a very small radius in Los Angeles, which could be considered a weakness given all of the startup competition in the area.
However, since we have been a remote first company since day one, we have been able to recruit the best talent across the country.
We just had our 2022 offsite here in California and our remote team members were so excited to come to LA and enjoy the weather, entertainment and food scene, so being based here definitely works to our advantage.
We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?
Today’s high cost of living is one of the reasons we started Flossy! Americans have so many daunting expenses on their plate, which unfortunately means dental care often is one of the first healthcare expenses to fall to the wayside, since
1. it is very expensive and
2. most people don’t realize how vital dental health is to their overall health.
With Flossy, we are helping Americans get up to 50% off all procedures, including painful, time sensitive ones.
Flossy’s ability to help people receive affordable dental care is sometimes the only reason people come into the dentist, despite how much pain they are in.
The feedback we hear from customers and how much we’ve helped them financially keeps us going everyday.
It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?
As a former football player at UCLA, I strive off of competition, as does the rest of the Flossy team. However, given that there aren’t many companies operating in our direct space, we are mostly competing with ourselves.
We want to make sure we are providing the most affordable and highest quality care to our patients, and doing whatever we can to meet their needs.
Listening to your customers is the best way to stay competitive in today’s market. If you can hear what your customers want, and then move on that quickly, you’ll stay ahead of the game.
Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?
We operate in California, but have team members remotely all over the country. As we expand into each market, it is helpful for us to have employees around the country to better understand each area we are opening up in.
Connecting with the local community is extremely important to us, especially as we build relationships with dentists and customers, so we will continue to have a distributed workforce, with a majority of the team in California.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
We hope that in 5 years Flossy will be everyone’s first choice for finding and paying for dental care! The financial benefits of Flossy are huge to our customers, but I think everyone, whether they have dental insurance or not, will be drawn to Flossy’s concierge-like approach to care.
We are delivering the very best patient experience with online booking, beautiful provider profiles, transparent pricing, digital payments, and affordable financing, and traditional dental insurance can’t beat that.
With five years under our belt, I truly believe we’ll be well on our way to transforming dental care all over the country.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
You can visit our website at http://www.Flossy.com to see if we are operating in your area. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow Flossy on Twitter or Linkedin.