MedicLINK Systems Ltd. sets its sights on growth - Jonathan Brett wins BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for Newfoundland and Labrador



    ST-JOHN'S, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Jonathan Brett has transformed a
software solution into a growing enterprise that is helping optometrists
across North America to better manage their businesses. For this success,
Jonathan, 28, owner of MedicLINK Systems Ltd., has earned BDC's Young
Entrepreneur Award for Newfoundland and Labrador and will be honoured tonight
at a ceremony in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    MedicLINK Systems Ltd., established in 2005, provides software solutions
for the eyecare profession. Called Eyesistant, it enables eyecare clinics to
manage their practices with an automated system that tracks everything from
appointment scheduling to billing to marketing. Building on the success of
that product, MedicLINK is now branching out into the field of dermatology.
    Jonathan who describes himself as a "techie by trade", began developing
custom software applications for local companies after being laid off from a
St. John's-based IT company in 2002. A software application he developed for a
friend's optometry practice attracted the interest of others in the profession
and within eight months, he had delivered the solution to 26 optometrists. At
that point, Jonathan realized the potential market for the software outside of
Atlantic Canada. His profile rose considerably when he was invited to address
more than 2,000 opticians at the Vision Canada 2004 tradeshow. "It just
snowballed from there," he says.

    From vision to reality

    Today, Eyesistant is being used in optical stores and optometrists'
practices from coast to coast in North America, and is targeting medium-sized
chains in the United States. MedicLINK, which numbers 10 employees, is also
expanding into the dermatology field and has signed a partnership agreement
with a dermatologist in California, which Jonathan discovered through the TV
reality show, Big Brother.
    MedicLINK is a company that likes to think outside the box. "What
distinguishes us from our competitors is the ease of use of our solution,"
says Jonathan. "To get there, we haven't taken the traditional route of
relying on the expertise of one optometrist or one optician. We don't pretend
to know everything about the eyecare business. We leverage the knowledge of
everyone who uses the software, and that has worked really well for us."
    Jonathan is firmly committed to youth employment and has made MedicLINK a
place where new graduates can start their careers. He actively participates in
local graduate recruitment programs and speaks to entrepreneur classes at
Memorial University's Faculty of Business. He also volunteers his time as a
member of the Capital Campaign Committee, a group of community leaders
dedicated to raising $2 million to renovate the LSPU Hall, a resource centre
for the arts in downtown St. John's.
    "I congratulate Jonathan for his success. He has capitalized on the
market potential of the software program he created and built a thriving
business that is expanding beyond our borders," says BDC President and CEO
Jean-René Halde.
    "I'm proud that I've been able to create a sustainable business and
contribute to the Newfoundland economy," says Jonathan. "And it's also a
terrific feeling to know that what we do is helping the medical profession and
improving people's health."

    Young entrepreneurs in the spotlight

    BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards are a highlight of Small Business Week,
providing the opportunity to honour the entrepreneurial spirit and business
success of Canadians between the ages of 19 and 35. Winners from each province
and territory are selected by a panel based on the originality of their
business concept, its success, growth potential and their community
involvement. The panel also considers the entrepreneur's age when the business
was started and any special challenges that had to be faced.

    Small Business Week partners

    Contributing to the success of this year's Small Business Week and Young
Entrepreneur Awards are the following national sponsors: Western Economic
Diversification Canada, Export Development Canada and Rogers. Privileged
partners are the Pan Canadian Community Futures Group and the Canadian Chamber
of Commerce, which has been a privileged partner of the event since 1981.

    About BDC

    BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada.
BDC actively supports the development and growth of Canadian small and
medium-sized businesses through its complementary financial, investment and
consulting solutions. BDC is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2008. Visit
www.bdc.ca for more information.
    Small Business Week is a registered trademark of BDC.




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange for an interview on October 16:
Media Room: 1-866-515-6033, (204) 985-6251; After October 16: Johanne
Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929


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