When you hear of an entrepreneur who’s developed his own oral hygiene formulas, won thousands of dollars for his business concept and started a company that now sells products on Amazon, it’s somewhat surprising to hear he’s just 21 years old. However, for Denver local Cole T. Evans, founder and President of Confadent Oral Technology, it’s just another day in the office.
We chatted with the young entrepreneur to discuss his brand, Confadent Gum.
What’s the story behind Confadent Gum? How did you get started?
I actually started when I was in high school. I was working under my mentor who owns a very large oral care product manufacturing facility in Parker. My mentor and his head chemist taught me a lot about oral hygiene formulas. That’s when I first saw the size and scale of the oral hygiene industry and the need for on-the-go oral hygiene products.
Phase two started when I was in college at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. My business partners and I built the first prototype for the chewing gum in my dorm room—we blew up the dorm microwave and had to order a new one for the university. Our prototype won a business competition at Trinity where we received $30,000 in prize money. Then, we entered a national competition called the Cupid’s Cup hosted by the founder and CEO of Under Armor, Kevin Plank. Out of over 550 applicants, we were one of six who presented to judges including Kevin Plank, Dan Gilbert (CEO, Quicken Loans), Ariana Huffington (founder, Huffington Post) and Wes Moore (New York Times best-selling author). Our company was one of three they chose to fund. Since then, we’ve gotten great connections and now we’re a real company. (Editor’s note: Evans was awarded the esteemed Kevin Plank’s Cupid’s Cup Entrepreneur of the Year.)
Why should people chew Confadent Gum?
We created Confadent Gum because we saw a need within the 14-16 hours during the day when most people are not practicing oral hygiene. So we used the same FDA-approved ingredients that Crest and Scope use in their mouth rinses and put them in a chewing gum—it’s almost like using mouth rinse all day long and it tastes really great, too. It’s formulated to whiten your teeth and reduce the bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis. Plus, it tastes great.
How many pieces of Confadent Gum do you chew each day? How many do you recommend?
I chew about 10 pieces a day; I pretty much always have gum in my mouth. I guess the good thing about having a chewing gum brand is that I feel it’s appropriate to go into meetings with gum in my mouth. We recommend people chew three to four pieces each day for the best effects and cleanest mouth.
What’s a day in the life of an entrepreneur?
I really like to call myself an innovator rather than an entrepreneur. But I get up and go to the gym around 6:45 a.m. I’m in the office by 8:45 a.m. For me, work is a lot of research—I research the industry, other innovators and ways to improve the business. I work until 7 p.m. then I have dinner and typically work some more after dinner.