Dental Boutique is the gift that keeps on giving for its founders, staff and patients, transforming more than 30,000 smiles for the better in the past 12 months while recent openings in Geelong and Brisbane are expanding the group's footprint, which is also set to delve into Perth, Chatswood, Newcastle and Auckland in the near future.
It is amidst this traction that Dental Boutique's founders Dr May Chan and Dr Reuben Sim won the prestigious 2023 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award last night for the third consecutive year, following a stellar performance that would put many ASX-listed health companies to shame.
Whilst the ethos of the awards is about community building, the initiative is evidently about recognition and these founders deserve it in spades, having won the top prize in a very tightly contested cohort of finalists.
There were numerous other contenders for the top gong, including Micky Ahuja of fast-growing security and cleaning company MA Services, Fergus Creese of student platform My Careers, Alexander Jannink of AI-driven mobile phone detection tech outfit Acusensus (ASX: ACE), and Untitled Group founders Michael Christidis, Nicholas Greco, Christian Serrao and Filippo Palermo who last year won the coveted Trailblazer award.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of those who were in the running, and below we have listed the winners of all categories. A full list of finalists can also be found here.
The day before the awards took place, another finalist - Alex Bottomley of Ampersand Projects - had his company acquired by Casella family-affiliated Australian Beer Co. Such is the attractiveness of so many of the enterprises whose entrepreneurial leaders were nominated for these awards.
In 2023 the Trailblazer title went to Alexander Jannink, whose company was listed on the ASX at the start of this year and has since cracked into the US market and beaten expectations from its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus.
And Jannink, who also won the Technology category, isn't the only finalist nationally who is striving to make our roads safer through technology. In Brisbane, the Specialist Services award was given to Voltora Industries founder Tory Ogden, who also founded Kompliance which uses innovative smart technology for surveillance through mobile platform solutions.
But the judges were most impressed by the founders of Dental Boutique - a company that has been around for more than a decade now and has gone from strength to strength with clinics also in Melbourne, Adelaide, Mornington and Sydney.
Chan and Sim also won the event's Health & Medicine category for the sixth year in a row - a field which in Melbourne, like in other cities, is stacked with very high-calibre talent.
The husband-and-wife pair both completed their dental training at the University of Adelaide in 2008, and worked with some of Australia's and the world's top cosmetic dentists before founding their own 'judgment-free dental space where patients get to experience dentistry like no other'. Chan herself understands the importance of this, having suffered from a bad fall as a child which broke her two front teeth, giving her dark tooth and overall crooked teeth.
This impacted Chan's self confidence and made her quite self-conscious about her smile as she covered her mouth when she laughed, never smiling in any photos due to a fear of being judged about her smile as a teenager and young adult.
After pursuing a career in cosmetic dentistry and seeing how it could transform her own life, Chan wanted to bring that same transformation to the lives of others.
"Dental Boutique's mission is to inspire and empower people to achieve the smile of their dreams while overcoming their fear and anxiety behind dental care," she says.
"We provide high quality dental services to help people achieve the smile they deserve through cosmetic dentistry.
"This is possible through our incredible team of nationally renowned cosmetic dentists, dental surgeons, oral health therapists and master ceramists who each have a special interest and expertise in their dedicated role."
Sim adds that there is an extended team of professionals who help make the Dental Boutique vision possible, with the company now employing 143 people full-time along with 45 who are employed either in a part-time, casual or contractor capacity.
"We believe in challenging mediocrity within the dental industry with our modern technology by investing in state-of-the-art technology, advanced techniques and only using trusted and high-quality materials that are recommended on a global scale," he says.
"We work towards removing the stigma that cosmetic dentistry is only attainable to the rich and famous by offering affordable payment plan options, early release of superannuation and creating a treatment plan that suits each patient's specific budget."
Chan and Sim were among an impressive finalists showcased at the 2023 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards, which was supported by corporate partners Maserati, Coraggio, VentureCrowd, Stone & Chalk and iVvy.
See below for all winners from the night, and we thank all participants for sharing their stories with Business News Australia.
All winners at the 2023 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Dr May Chan and Dr Reuben Sim (Dental Boutique)
- Trailblazer - Alexander Jannink (Acusensus)
- Arts & Culture - Nicholas Greco, Filippo Palermo, Michael Christidis & Christian Serrao (Untitled Group)
- Digital Disruptor - Fergus Creese (My Careers)
- Fashion & Design - Lauren French (Motto Fashions)
- Finance - Lachlan Catanese & Trent Scheirs (Grant Help)
- Fitness - Michael Ramsay (Strong Pilates)
- Food & Beverage - Alex Bottomley (Ampersand Projects)
- Health & Medicine - Dr May Chan & Dr Reuben Sim (Dental Boutique)
- Hospitality & Tourism - Hash Tayeh (Burgertory)
- Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution - Jonathan Byrt & Jesse Leeworthy (memobottle)
- Marketing - Harry Sanders (StudioHawk)
- PR, Media & Events - Nicholas Greco, Filippo Palermo, Michael Christidis & Christian Serrao (Untitled Group)
- Professional Services - Micky Ahuja (MA Services Group)
- Retail & Services - Bianca Roccisano & Bridgett Roccisano (Booby Tape)
- Specialist Services - Luke Tadich (Dreamcourts)
- Startup - Gary Sheppard (Direct Cranes Hire)
- Sustainability & Social Responsibility - Troy Rowe (ReSource)
- Technology - Alexander Jannink (Acusensus)
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