Umar Ahmed is the creator and owner of Twiggy Fresh, a company that makes and sells natural bamboo toothbrushes. Growing up, instead of using a toothbrush to clean his teeth, he used a miswak twig made from the Salvadora persica tree. These twigs have been used for thousands of years as dental hygiene tools.
It’s a jarring fact that Americans throw away roughly 1 billion plastic toothbrushes per year. For Umar, this was a problem. And he saw a solution. Combining his passion for environmental protection and his upbringing in the entrepreneurial spirit, Umar started Twiggy Fresh at the beginning of 2018.
The Miswak twig is a natural product and poses no problems as far as waste creation. But he knew that Americans would never go for such a product. So he figured out a way to make a 100% natural toothbrush. And Twiggy Fresh was born.
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“The experience taught me a lot about the importance of making human connections, and inspiring loyal customers to keep coming back,” says conference attendee Umar Ahmed, co-founder and CEO of Twiggy Fresh, an Eco-Friendly bamboo toothbrush company. “I’ve met so many new friends here, both local and from out of state. As a business owner that’s helpful, because I’m always looking for ways to build new relationships.”
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Twiggy Fresh takes it back to the basics with its Eco-Friendly oral care products. The Minneapolis–based brand sells bamboo toothbrushes that are BPA-free, antibacterial, and anti fungal, as well as environmentally sustainable. You could say Twiggy Fresh is even pro-panda: its brushes are made with Moso bamboo, a variety that panda bears don’t eat because the leaves are too high for them to reach.
Minneapolis CPG Accelerator Selects 10 Purpose-Driven Companies
Minneapolis-based ImpactSKU has selected the 10 consumer packaged goods (CPG) startups that will participate in the Preview program. Participants make everything from vegan baking mixes to matching dog-owner togs.
The six-week ImpactSKU Preview Program kicks off August 4 and includes programming on such topics as Vision +Purpose, Market Validation + Positioning, Social Impact, and Channel Strategy. Throughout the program, participants will have access to a roster of CPG experts. They also will develop pitches for the 2020 Showcase at Twin Cities Startup Week.
ImpactSKU was scheduled to launch its first cohort in June. But with COVID-19 creating an unprecedented situation, the decision was made to pivot to a virtual program to give the startups a glimpse of the accelerator’s full program. The full program will launch in 2021.