BeWell Health LLC — Columbia

  • Published: Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

The statistics aren’t pretty.

Sixty million Americans a year suffer from allergies and asthma. Three billion ear infections are diagnosed annually and we also suffer about one billion colds — two to four per year for adults, six to eight for children — while about a fifth of us come down with the flu each year.*

Nasopure logoThe U.S. has a decent health care system. The same cannot be said of much of the globe. Our population is a bit more than 323 million. The world population is set to break 7.4 billion very soon. So it’s fair to say that colds, the flu and allergies are a global epidemic.

Yes, basic prevention just makes sense.

Hana R. Solomon, M.D., pediatrician, president and founder of Columbia,Missouri-based BeWell Health LLC makers of Dr. Hana’s Nasopure Nasal Wash, knew that nasal washing with a buffered hypertonic solution removes the vast majority of allergens, shrinks swollen membranes, improves ciliary movement (hair filters in the nose), augments healing, reduces symptoms and studies support it does reduce medication use.

Solomon graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in the mid-’80s and practiced ambulatory pediatrics in Columbia for more than 20 years. The endless parade of patients with nasal, sinus and ear problems caused by colds, allergies, infections and exposure to pollution got her thinking — why not help clean the filter, the nose? We breathe 10,000 liters of air each day — why not clean the filter, just like we brush our teeth?

Dr. Hana Solomon

Hana R. Solomon, M.D., president and founder of Columbia, Missouri-based BeWell Health LLC.

The practice of nasal irrigation is an ancient daily hygienic ritual, found in many cultures.

Dr. Hana began teaching nose washing to 2-year-olds at the onset of her training and in 2001, began to offer a comfortable nose wash for her patients. BeWell Health LLC was formed in 2007.

Dr. Hana partnered up with the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers and the Missouri Innovation Center, a Business Development Program partner, in 2006 to help move the firm to the next level.

Dr. Hana’s Nasopure is now available nationally, with several international distributors.

The Nasopure product

The Nasopure nasal irrigation system helps keep sinus passages clear.

But the firm knew it could do more.

BeWell Health requested International Trade Center (ITC) aid in 2014 to expand export sales and add to their international distributor network. International trade specialists Sandra Marin, Jackie Rasmussen and others helped develop a comprehensive export plan, provided guidelines for distributor agreements, advice on export documentation requirements and referrals to experts in intellectual property protection and payment methods. In fall 2014, ITC interns also completed a customized project to help BeWell evaluate specific market opportunities.

As a result, BeWell Health increased its export sales 25 percent from 2013 to 2014, and export sales comprise a quarter of company sales today.

Writes Marcus Solomon, BeWell Health director of sales and operations, “This program has helped my company tremendously! From assisting with market expansion, facilitating background checks and helping us verify documentation and compliance requirements, I could not have asked for a better team to help with the international side of things. Not only has the ITC provided excellent customer service, but their research and findings have proven extremely useful and helped increase our sales internationally.”

* Per BeWell Health

To see if your firm is ready to export, contact ITC director Larry Dill at 573-882-7626 or [email protected].

Where are they now?

In 2016, we reported on BeWell Health, makers of the Nasopure nasal irrigation system, and the firm’s collaboration with the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers' (MO SBTDC) International Trade Center (ITC) and Missouri Innovation Center, a Business Development Program partner, to move the firm to the next level. As a result of that collaboration, BeWell Health increased exports 25 percent from 2013 to 2014. (Read our previous story on BeWell Health.)

Nasopure logoBeWell Health wanted to expand export sales and add to its international distributor network. So MO SBTDC international trade specialists Sandra Marin, Jackie Rasmussen and others helped develop a comprehensive export plan, provided guidelines for distributor agreements, offered advice on export documentation requirements and made referrals to experts in intellectual property protection and payment.

In December 2016, ITC director Larry Dill and international trade specialists Aldis Jakubovskis, Rasmussen, Luis Ortiz and Pablo Arroyo and three University of MIssouri international business student interns completed additional market research for Nasopure.

The interns and staff reviewed global trade data and economic and industry indicators to identify five promising markets in Asia, North America, Africa and Europe. This dedicated team then researched each country’s business environment, industry trends and regulatory requirements. They also provided the firm with lists of potential customers and distributors in each country.

Five-person Nasopure team

Nasopure team (from left): Matt Ray, James Hurng, Marcus Solomon (Nasopure), Jaesung Yun and Jackie Rasmussen (ITC/MO SBTDC).

As a direct result, from 2015 to 2016 the firm experienced:

  • Overall sales increase of 40 percent
  • Export sales increase of 55 percent
  • Increase in employment of 30 percent

Says company president Marcus Solomon: “I appreciate all you and your department (the ITC) have done for us and have no doubt it has had a significant impact!

“The final research report provided me with very useful information about the target countries I had interest in. The spreadsheets provided a wealth of valuable data that I can use to identify and validate future markets of interest, too. I was also provided with information on the different registration requirements of each market, which will be very helpful.”

“Thank you!”

Solomon adds that BeWell Health is now strategizing how to enter at least two of these new markets.

The International Trade Center is a central resource for quality global trade research, analysis, education and training. The ITC can help Missouri businesses:

  • Develop and plan a viable export strategy
  • Research potential markets and assess opportunities
  • Research data to make informed and timely market entry or expansion decisions
  • Connect to additional resources and expertise in finance, shipping, documentation and compliance
  • Further educate firms’ principals on international trade.

In the past two years, the ITC has completed 29 global market research projects for 20 companies using 91 interns and six skilled MO SBTDC international trade counselors. In total, student interns and counselors have logged about 11,000 hours on these projects — 120 hours for each student intern.

This article was originally published February 12, 2016.