Mini Suri is a member of the Life Sciences Cluster. As co-founder and CEO of VELMENI, she developed a fast and reliable way to offer 2D and 3D dental X-ray analysis and smart treatment recommendations through AI-annotated scans.
Read on for highlights from her interview with us about VELMENI and how she is changing the future of dentistry.
What inspired the idea for your business?
My father was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer months after the problem was missed on an X-ray scan. As you can imagine, this led to a personal interest in diagnostic early intervention. I started pursuing health tech and discovered that the dental space was an ideal place to start using artificial intelligence. Our technology finds hard-to-see problems that even the best dentists miss a third of the time. Oral health is a gateway to overall health and is taken lightly by most.
How has Central Florida’s innovation ecosystem supported your business growth? What local people or resources have played a role in your success?
Central Florida offers a wonderful pool of local talent and the University of Central Florida (UCF) is responsible for training a lot of that talent. UCF President Dr. Alex Cartwright, and Dean of Engineering Michael Georgiopoulos have been helpful, along with the UCF Computer Vision lab. Florida has a large dental community and tech industry. Add in our sunny climate and this is where we want to be.
Can you share more about your involvement with Cenfluence and how it has impacted your business?
Cenfluence has provided us with some wonderful networking opportunities. We’ve gotten involved with some of the conferences and they have helped us engage with the local tech community.
What personal or professional achievement are you most proud of? Why?
I’m most proud of launching VELMENI as a woman CEO. I’m grateful to have incredible talent on my team and an amazing product that’s built “for the dentists by the dentists.” Our free Second Dentist product launched recently and dentists are adopting it because they see its value.
Though business goals are important, our “big picture” aspirations are what’s really exciting. Achieving those dreams will be my biggest professional and personal achievement. Our goal is to be that unicorn company that delivers affordable, high-quality dental care to a BILLION people around the world, some of whom have never even seen a dentist before.
What advice would you give another woman looking to start her own tech company?
Keep marching forward. Trust yourself. Find good mentors. There will always be obstacles and unreasonable people in your path. Male leaders face those problems, too. Successful people are the ones who go through or around those challenges. We live in a world where plenty of women leaders are growing and prospering. Go out and do it!