SMILE Health 2024: CareQuest Innovation Partners & MATTER Unveil Largest Startup Cohort Yet for Oral Health Accelerator

CareQuest Innovation Partners and MATTER have jointly announced the selection of startups for the third year of their SMILE Health program, marking it as their largest and most diverse cohort to date.

The US faces significant challenges in oral health, with oral diseases contributing to substantial treatment costs and productivity losses globally. Despite this, dental startups in the US received comparatively low investment in 2023. CareQuest Innovation Partners aims to address this gap through SMILE Health, fostering an ecosystem that accelerates investment and innovation, promotes health equity, and integrates dental care with overall healthcare.

Six startups were chosen from a competitive pool representing 11 countries and 27 US states, with over half of the founders from ethnic or racial minority backgrounds. These startups offer diverse technologies spanning preventive therapies, telehealth, and integrated health services, designed to enhance the relationship between oral health and broader healthcare settings.

Katie D’Amico, VP of Growth & Innovation at CareQuest Innovation Partners, expressed enthusiasm for this year’s cohort, emphasizing their potential to redefine holistic healthcare through innovative solutions.

Throughout the 12-week program, startups will collaborate with industry leaders such as Cigna Healthcare, Colgate-Palmolive Company, DentaQuest, and Henry Schein, receiving financial support, mentorship, specialized curriculum, and business insights without equity requirements. The program will conclude with a demo day at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas, where startups will showcase their solutions to potential investors and partners.

Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER, highlighted the program’s role in accelerating startup development and enabling institutional players to explore emerging healthcare solutions.

Post-program, startups will have ongoing access to resources from MATTER and CareQuest Innovation Partners, including opportunities for further collaboration through CareQuest’s ACCELERATE program.

Overall, SMILE Health represents a pivotal initiative driving innovation in healthcare and fostering a more interconnected future for oral health and overall wellbeing.

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