A love of dentistry and a desire to help others put Jizal Seikali on the unlikely path of entrepreneurship.
Seikali served as a dental specialist in the Ohio National Guard from 2006-2009. In 2014, after serving as a logistics officer in the United States Army National Guard, she attended the pre-med/pre-dental program at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, while contracting with four dental practices to provide professional services. Through this experience, she recognized the need to connect practices with qualified dental professionals.
In 2018, she developed DenTemp, an online platform that connects dental practices to qualified dental professionals to fill temporary or permanent needs.
“When dental offices closed in 2020 due to COVID, I used this time to continue to build out the structure of the site and make it scalable, as well as work on customer discovery,” she said.
Seikali is a Bounce Innovation Hub’s Software Accelerator client, working with Austin Kettner, startup advisor.
“Through weekly meetings with Austin, I’ve received guidance in setting milestones, initially to determine the platform’s viability, and now to scale it,” Seikali said. “At Bounce, I’ve also been connected to resources for legal counsel, marketing support and software development.”
DenTemp works with 77 offices and 150 dental professionals, including dentists, dental technicians and hygienists. As she continues to grow DenTemp, she’s launching an e-newsletter campaign and a blog to attract more dental professionals and practices.
“Our model is different because all dental professionals set their own rate and don’t pay anything to DenTemp. Offices pay a flat monthly fee to post needs for temporary or permanent help,” Seikali said, noting that other platforms such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter use traditional staffing models focused on filling long-term needs.
While Seikali didn’t necessarily set out to be an entrepreneur, she finds it gratifying to help relieve staffing issues and wait times, so patients can ultimately get the care they need.
Connecting dental professionals
Through DenTemp, she’s created a forum for meaningful connections within the dental space. She also places a high value on cultivating intentional relationships, whether with potential partners or other women entrepreneurs dealing with some of the same issues and challenges she has faced.
She recently partnered with Crest/Oral B and Kwane Watson, DMD, to provide dental screenings to underserved patients in the Chicago area.
“Dr. Kwane operates Kare Mobile, Inc. to serve a five-state region with mobile dental care and DenTemp provides staff for these clinics,” she said. “It’s important to find people who share your same values and goals.”
Seikali was recognized in June with a Pink and Black community service award as an entrepreneur making a difference in the Cleveland community and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
To learn more about DenTemp, please visit https://den-temp.com/about/.
To learn more about Bounce’s Software Accelerator please visit https://bouncehub.org/accelerator/
About the author:
Jill Wodtley, APR, is a freelance writer and owner of Fine Point Public Relations and Advertising. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, she develops and implements marketing communications, public relations and advertising initiatives for a variety of clients, ranging from health care and social service agencies to industrial/manufacturing firms.