Verena Solutions, mHUB member
since opening day in 2017, is the manufacturer of SimpleCap, a dental needle
solution that provides safety, ease of use, and comfort to both patient and
dental practitioner. Verena’s startup journey began nearly 6 years ago in the
garage of founder and president, Michael Infanger. Today, the company has
developed numerous prototypes, received about $800,000 in funding, and is
finalizing automation for the manufacturing process.
Where did your idea and value proposition start?
Verena Solutions was born out of
a shared frustration among dentists and patients. Many dental products used, particularly
dental needles, are cumbersome, prone to misuse, and potentially dangerous on
both sides of the dental chair.
I had a group of friends during
my time studying engineering at Marquette University who were in a pre-dental
scholar program, including my future wife. The more time I spent with them, the
more I would hear their discussions and complaints about tools in the field. As
a patient, I particularly hated dental needles. I learned quickly that they
shared the same sentiment, even going as far as saying “They’re actually as bad
for us as they are for you.”
After graduating, I continued
researching the market. There’s a stark difference between the standard of care
on the medical side and that in dental. Physicians use safety syringes and
safety needles, which don’t exist yet in dentistry. There are a few basic
After 5 years as an engineer, I
decided to build a business around a new standard of care. I set out to create
a system easier and faster to use and less frustrating for everybody involved –
all within the same workflow and procedures that dentists currently use.
What led you to mHUB?
After growing out of the 3D
printer in my garage, I began looking into community spaces that focused on
physical product development. I found Catalyze Chicago, mHUB’s predecessor, and
it has been extremely valuable in helping us continue the prototyping process.
How has your business grown?
We have become power users of the
prototyping labs provided by mHUB including machines - from 3D printers and Computer
Numerical Control (CNC) machines, to laser cutters - and staff expertise to
develop the components and assembly process of SimpleCap, which we currently
produce manually. Each new version of the product has opened the door to new
investors and clients. We’ve gotten to the point now where we are working to
automate manufacturing, which will allow us to produce 2.5 to 3 million parts a
year compared to just 80,000 annually.
We’ve also taken advantage of mHUB’s Product Engineering Services (PES), which connects us to manufacturers to do
contract work. Through contract work, we’ve been successful in bringing in
about $500,000 a year, which has been an incredible help in funding R&D and
production of SimpleCap. The extra revenue gives us the runway to invest back
into our business.
What’s next for Verena Solutions?