April 2017 - Page 36

NEXT GEN: Tech-savvy optometrist Dr. Patrick Sauvageau has found time to practice, teach, invent and create multiple businesses in his seven years of optometry. The 31-year-old father's current quest is to establish his new optical e-commerce hub Opfront.ca, and help prepare independents for the growing battle in the online marketplace. “We offer independent eyecare profes- sionals a platform to sell eyewear online legally,” says Sauvageau. “We're developing technological tools to support their business growth. So basically it's an integrated online store that showcases in-store inventory in real-time.” Sauvageau is proud to tout the new venture as the only e-commerce site of its kind that can provide that for independent companies in this capacity. “So we're building both websites and webstores,” he says. “What we want to provide is an omni- channel solution for clinics to be able to show their inventory to patients, so the patient can look at it, be able to 34 Optical Prism | April 2017 in 2016, Sauvageau is also preparing to com- mercialize Retnia Inc. in the next year, a new patented invention he says is “a groundbreak- ing oximetry device that will be a tool to improve the detection and management of ocular diseases.” By Troy Patterson reserve up to three frames to try on in the clinic. So it's really a cool thing to have, so your patient can go to see all the colours you have in one frame, be able to reserve it, buy online contact lenses legally, so that's pretty new.” The site also provides all the data col- lected to clinics, which allows eyecare professionals to see what's going on, the age group accessing the site, and locations, “so you can really adapt your offer to what people are looking for.” He's also the co-owner of three inde- pendent clinics – his home practice Optiboutiq in Quebec City (optibou- tiq.com) and two Voskins clinics in Montreal (voskins.com), which offer high-end products and services. As CEO of Opfront, which he founded He's admittedly a busy man, but says he enjoys taking part in all aspects of the optical industry. His efforts have earned him “few awards for entrepreneurship” which he points to his love for his career. “I think the profession has been a passion for me over the last few years,” Sauvageau says. “I've liked it so much, I like everything about it. I like teaching, I like practising obviously, I like the political side of it and the association, the business side of it obviously.” A graduate of the University of Montreal's School of Optometry in 2010, he's also been on the board of the Association of Optometrists of Quebec since he graduated almost seven years ago. His interest in optometry was once a toss up between the medical field and music. Sauvageau was somewhat familiar with the industry, as his aunt