Certified LGBTBE® Otis Dental Makes Smiling and Investing Easy
At the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, we are proud to highlight LGBT-owned businesses whose work makes direct differences in people’s lives. For Andrew Lee, founder of OTIS Dental, his company’s work is personal.
After finishing dental school in 2008, he was the victim of a hate crime. That left him with bruxism, or grinding teeth, as a result of PTSD. He found that dentists and pharmacies offered nightguards were not giving him the care he needed, while also being incredibly costly. As a result, in 2017 Lee created OTIS Dental, which produces custom night guards.
“Going through those challenges myself, that was a really surefire reason why I felt it's a no brainer that I have to do something about this,” he said.
Custom night guards are his “passion product,” he said. Lee has just launched a growth capital campaign with Republic, which allows people to invest in companies in smaller amounts. By contributing as little as $150, people can invest in OTIS Dental. Click here to visit the page and support the growth of the company.
“It allows anyone to invest in companies that they really believe in based on off of their personal lifestyle habits or just social changes,” Lee said.
OTIS has taken off, selling in major retailing like Walgreens and most recently Target, where their products will be available in January 2021. With the funds from the investments, Lee plans to work on brand awareness for OTIS Dental, as well as marketing and funding the inventory for the growing supply chain.
Lee said he owes the NGLCC and his local chamber, the Golden Gate Business Association, for the opportunities he has secured. He explained that he was also connected to Target with the NGLCC.
“When I was introduced to the NGLCC, and even the GGBA, the local affiliate, it really made a huge difference,” he said. “It didn't make me feel like I was alone in this -- not just as an entrepreneur, but as an LGBT person.”
Lee was a featured presenter at NGLCC LGBT Sip and Pitch, where he pitched his company to a panel of expert judges, including his newest customer: Target.com. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.
In the future, Lee is excited to expand his business, sell to more retailers and connect with more LGBT-owned businesses to grow his network, he said.
Click here to learn how to become a Certified LGBTBE® supplier!
For additional ways to help you, your business, and the LGBT community during this time, visit the NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.