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happiDr. Staci Whitman seeks an investor for Happi, her compostable pick flossers, in Shark Tank episode 1415. Dr. Whitman is a pediatric dentist who practices a holistic, whole body, collaborative approach to dentistry. She believes your mouth’s health directly impacts well being since it’s the gateway to our bodies. She’s been practicing in her own practice, NoPo Kids Dentistry, in Portland, OR since 2015.

In addition to holistic dentistry, Dr. Whitman believes in sustainable practices. While at a conference in Hawaii in 2020, she observed a lot of plastic trash in the water at the marina. There were literally hundreds of pick flossers and she thought there was a better way to make them. That’s when she came up with the idea for Happi floss picks: They’re made with layers of post-consumer recycled paper and they decompose in one year as opposed to the 400 years it takes a plastic floss pick to decompose.

The products are not available yet. She raised $29,931 on IndieGoGo back in 2021 to purchase the special machinery is takes to make Happi floss picks, but has yet to produce any units. As of October, 2022, she was “close” to having her patents approved. The ultimate goal is for Happi to be an entire line of sustainable dentistry products. She needs a Shark’s help getting her product to market.

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Happi Flossers

Happi Shark Tank Recap

Dr. Staci enters the Shark Tank seeking $200,000 for 10% equity in her company. She talks about the importance of flossing and opens an umbrella as 3000 plastic floss picks rain down on her. The picks were repurposed from her dental office. She says people who use plastic floss picks will use 30,000 picks in their lifetime – ten times the amount of picks she used for her demonstration. The picks will take 400 years or more to break down – if they ever do. She introduces her Happi floss and says it’s the first floss designed for true compostability: they’ll breaak down in under one year.

As the Sharks examine their samples, Lori bends hers and says “it’s paper.” The Sharks floss with them and Daymond asks how she came up with the idea. She tells the story of how she saw all the plastic waste in Hawaii which inspired her idea. Flossers account for half a billion dollars in the tooth care market. Dr. Staci says she gets pushback from parents of some of her patients because they won’t use single use plastics.

She explains that she is pre-revenue and that she needs special machinery to make her flossers. Kevin says everything in a dentist’s office is made or distributed by “three behemoth companies.” Kevin thinks she should license it to one of those companies. Dr. Staci has utility patents pending in the USA, Europe and Canada. Her biggest competitor is HumbleCo and she needs a Shark to help her compete with them.

Daniel summarizes her pitch and reiterates that she has no sales and Dr. Staci says she has $100,000 in pre-sales. It costs $12.99 for a 30 pack but she says she can get the price down with her machinery. Kevin asks why she doesn’t go to one of the “three behemoths” and she says they aren’t interested. Kevin goes out. Lori thinks the product has merit, but she agrees with Kevin; Lori goes out. Daniel doesn’t think the business is investable at this time; he’s out. Daymond thinks it’s too early; he’s out. Mark thinks she doesn’t have the “business chops” she needs and she’d be too dependent; he’s out.

Happi Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. As of May, 2023 – roughly 9 months after filming – the flossers are still not available for purchase. IndieGoGo pre-orders have not been fulfilled either but in an update on the IndieGoGo page , Dr. Staci says she has “a BIG announcement coming by June 1, 2023.” As of July, 2023, nothing has changed.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Happi & Dr. Staci Whitman as more details become available.