Carolyn Primus launched her business after she received a small business research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grants objective was to commercialize new business ideas, which Primus accomplished with Avalon Biomed in 2010. Her business manufactures bioactive dental cements, which are sold directly to dentists and also to dental dealers who work with clients around the world.
“My mentors had excellent ideas for improving my business, including developing and growing relationships with dealers, ideas for promotion, methods to examine financial performance versus budget, and setting priorities,” Primus says. “With the help of my mentors, I was able to introduce new products, increase sales, achieve profitability, and attract another company to purchase the business.”
As an engineer working as an entrepreneur, Primus had to determine the best way to market her business — and make sure that business was FDA-compliant — with minimal funding. She also faced international regulatory challenges.
“I needed help growing and managing my business,” Primus says. “I sought help from SCORE after I had a product on the market, but I needed to increase sales.”
Primus worked with two mentors, meeting monthly to ask their financial and marketing advice. A third mentor stepped in when Primus decided to sell her business.