Javier Ballesté, MS ’20, never saw his career path leaning towards orthodontic treatment. Yet his passion for entrepreneurship helped spread access to orthodontic therapy. A graduate of the Fox Master of Science in Business Analytics program, Ballesté took his expertise in data-driven decision making to Phimentum in order to provide a solution to the kids and adults that don’t have easy access to specialized dentistry.
Phimentum was founded in 2019 by an orthodontist and two engineers to revolutionize orthodontics by combining traditional practices with the latest technology.
Dr. Melih Motro, one of the startup’s co-founders, wanted to help 15 million children in the United States without access to orthodontic treatment due to cost and location. Ballesté partnered with Dr. Motro, an orthodontist himself, and Arel Cordero, PhD in Computer Science to find the solution by offering these services in a place where most people go: the dentist.
“Our goal is to empower general dentists by giving them the tools to be able to provide braces for their patients,” says Ballesté. “General dentists don’t always have the time for learning these skills. We provide them with the treatment plan reviewed by our team of orthodontists and guide them with step-by-step instructions to ensure the best quality outcome.”
Phimentum provides the dentists with an easy-to-follow evaluation for the patients that they complete online. Phimentum uses the information to create a plan for the patient by using OrthoTx—an algorithm that automates the process for the orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning.
The company ships custom boxes with the products needed for treatment and step-by-step instructions for dentists to provide their patient with braces and the right treatment plan. This method of orthodontics is cheaper and has the potential of providing individuals with affordable care.
As a native of Spain, Ballesté has worked in various countries and job markets. Even so, he was always interested in working with a startup—leading him to take the opportunity at Phimentum.
“I am good friends with one of the founders here and they were looking for someone who knew how to manage a business and communicate with customers.” says Ballesté. “As a co-founder, my main role in the company is working with business development. My technical background also allows me to assist the IT team in coding and working on the orthodontic software.”
Ballesté emphasized that his degree in business analytics at the Fox School provided him with experience in analyzing large data sets. He also gained knowledge on how to follow trends and predictions in order to move businesses forward in an effective way.
“After studying at Fox and doing research, I have concluded that analyzing data will be a big part of companies and businesses in the near future and in the long term,” says Ballesté. “Understanding data and numbers will tell you what changes are best for revenue and customer satisfaction.”