Akervall Technologies scores DOD contract, doubles revenue

Akervall Technologies has watched its revenue jump by triple digits and new contracts with the likes of U.S. Dept of Defense roll in, thanks in large part to the start-up's social media outreach efforts.

The 3-year-old company makes an ultra-thin mouth guard called Protech Dent that allows users to drink, talk, and breathe normally while playing sports. Akervall Technologies brought in an outside consultant last year that performed a marketing analysis and created a marketing master plan. The result was a game plan that called for heavy focus on leveraging social media outlets, which contributed to the company's doubling of revenue.

"It's really helpful for someone to come in with fresh eyes and look at your company," says Sassa Akervall, COO of Akervall Technologies. "They have a lot of great ideas."

Enabling that consultant's work was a microloan from the Michigan Microloan Fund. Akervall Technologies is on track to repay that microloan by early next year. The Ann Arbor-based firm is also looking at expanding its team beyond its core group of three and a small group of independent contractors later this year with a new hire or two.

The product was developed by Dr. Jan Akervall, a local ear, nose and throat specialist, and husband of Sassa Akervall. It is made of non-compressible, perforated material and is 30 percent stronger than conventional mouth guards. Medical patients, athletes, and even soldiers are among the targeted clientele. Akervall Technologies recently scored a contract with the U.S. Dept of Defense to develop a second generation of the mouth guard for use by soldiers in combat.

"Our mouth guard stands up to the test," Sassa Akervall says. "It's quite strong, even though it's so thin."

Source: Sassa Akervall, COO of Akervall Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.