Nikolai Bratkovski is the 25-year-old CEO/founder of HealthAware.ca, an online resource that helps people find doctors, clinics, and the like. Just last week, Nikolai and his team launched an online appointment booking service through the website. This latest venture (it’s his third) is meant to help give people the tools to take better control of their own health care. Find out more about this young entrepreneur in today’s YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
HealthAware.ca is a free website dedicated to helping people find doctors and clinics, check out reviews, and book the earliest appointment online instantly.
We just launched our online appointment booking service last week. As of today, 15 diagnostic imaging clinics across Ontario offer over 5,000 appointments for procedures such as ultrasound, X-ray, mammography, and bone density. There are also appointments available with a cardiologist and a vascular surgeon.
There are many more to come. We already have over 50 clinics of different specialties lined up, such as dental, chiropractic, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, etc.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I was looking for a family doctor myself and couldn’t find one, especially one that is good and was accepting new patients. I though it would be easy, since at that point in time I was already an active player in the healthcare industry and knew a lot of doctors and clinics. I started calling all my friends and it seemed that everyone had the same issue. Everyone said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all health practitioners and clinics on one central website?” I hooked up with a Oleg Melnikov, who just completed his MBA, and HealthAware.ca was well underway.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I look forward to everyday in HealthAware thanks to our wonderful team and great work environment provided by ING DIRECT Cafe. Everyday we try to figure out how to make the Canadian healthcare system more accessible and easy for patients and practitioners by introducing new technologies. The best part is that HealthAware is a win-win service for both health practitioners and people. People get connected to the health services they need and health practitioners grow their practice.
The most challenging part is filtering noise and staying focused, while staying relevant. As a CEO of the company you get bombarded with information, ideas, features, offers, partnerships, etc. You have to always keep the the big picture in your mind, pick out relevant things and not miss forming trends.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
In five years, HealthAware will be offering service across Canada and the United States. We want to put people in control of their health care choices. HealthAware will help millions of people easily find the health service of their choosing and book their appointments online at their convenience.
What does success look like to you?
Success is when you solve a real problem and also make money while doing it.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
One day I was watching a TED speech by a world-renowned cardiologist, Ernest Madu, who was working on making world class healthcare possible in the third world environment. I got so inspired that I tracked his email down and sent him a letter offering assistance with his mission, by donating advanced medical imaging software that was developed by the first company that I co-founded. In a couple days, we were discussing our collaboration on a conference call and in couple weeks we had the software deployed to the Heart Institute of the Caribbean with locations across Jamaica. We became good friends and now Ernest is building a full-size hospital in Nigeria, where we will deploy our software once again.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Steve Jobs put it quite well: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” “Hungry” is what keeps you going, while “foolish” let’s you try things, fail, learn, and finally succeed.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I actually co-founded my own non-profit, Greenscroll.org. I was amazed to accidentally discover that the Internet’s carbon footprint had caught up to the aviation industry. As Web entrepreneurs, we realized that our online companies were contributing to this problem. That’s how Greenscroll.org was born. Greenscroll.org allows individuals and companies to power their blogs and websites with green energy.
What is Notable to you?
Notable is something or someone that you can learn from, help you move forward and grow, either as a person or a company.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
It’s funny, Android for phone and tablet, Mac for laptop, Windows for desktop.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Hunger! I always strive to progress and develop as a person and that doesn’t let me stop. However, lately I realized the value of balance. Even though I want to be constantly going 100mph, my body thinks otherwise. So I had to learn to balance – exercise, enjoy weekends, spend time with family and friends.