FSU grad develops new mouthwash

By flymouthwash January 2, 2017

Nobody wants bad breath. But it happens.

Two years ago, Mike Bracciale was at Strozier Library at Florida State University. It was an ordinary day. He grabbed an iced cup of coffee from the campus Starbucks, got a sandwich and ran into a girl. Conversation blossomed. But the combination of coffee breath and chewed food made Bracciale wish he had fresh breath.

He thought there should be something on the market that’s more effective than gum and mints. Mouthwash, he thought, would be perfect. That’s how Fly Mouthwash was born.

Bracciale, a 2014 FSU grad, dropped out of medical school to start a new company. He teamed up with Nick Telford, the company’s chief operating officer, and later Tracey Priest, who handles sales and marketing. Now they’re in the final stages of developing a product that allows tap water to be converted into mouthwash, so fresh breath is more readily available to anyone on the go.

A 2-ounce bottle will be good for 30 uses.

“We just want people to have the confidence to interact with each other all of the time,” said Telford, 21, who’s majoring in finance and professional sales at FSU.

The team hopes to have a product by January and ready for online sales by February.

Fly Mouthwash operates at Domi Station, a community business incubator. It participated in Domi’s Get Started Program, which lasts six months and allows startups to learn about customer discovery, market validation and business model development.

The company recently received $1,000 from the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce during an entrepreneurial forum when three startups made five-minute pitches in front of the peers. The audience voted and decided Fly Mouthwash was ahead of the others in terms of product development. The money will be used for growing the product.

Bracciale said he’s just happy to help provide people with a fresh breath solution. He said dropping out of school, not to mention convincing his parents he was on to something, pushed him to take the entrepreneurial leap after he met a chemist in Tampa who could work on the formula.

“Each person we meet is a steppingstone,” he said, adding that dropping out of med school was the best decision he could make at this point in his life. “I felt my creative side needed to pursue this dream. I love medicine, but my creative side felt suppressed. This company allowed us to think in ways that we never thought we’d be thinking.”

Contact TaMaryn Waters at tlwaters@tallahassee.com or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter. 

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