Multi-faceted York Region-based digital transformation agency evolves to support other local and international startups

A Newmarket-based company and an integral part of York Region’s innovation ecosystem has helped startups grow to millions in revenue, assisted medium-sized businesses in scaling to significant heights of hundreds of millions and has driven billions of dollars into the local economy through branding, marketing, business support systems and development initiatives.

Sean Stephens, CEO of Treefrog Inc., says his company encompasses a variety of enterprises, including a digital transformation agency and a marketing and app development firm, which operates alongside the Treefrog Accelerator.

“Our mission is centred around driving success both for ourselves and for our clients, emphasizing growth, efficiency and innovation,” Stephens explains.

Their goal at Treefrog is to empower businesses to reach new heights of success through strategic growth, enhancing operational efficiency and fostering continual innovation.

Treefrog assists a broad range of businesses, particularly focusing on those in their developmental stages or facing technological or marketing/growth challenges. Their team aims to provide solutions that enhance growth, improve technological capabilities and streamline operational processes.

“We work with startups right up to Fortune 500s in different capacities,” Stephens notes.

For more than 25 years, Stephens says Treefrog has played a significant role in supporting the local business ecosystem.

“Choosing York Region was a strategic decision due to its business-friendly environment and quality of life,” he explains. “It’s an ideal place for professional endeavours and family life, offering a community that supports and encourages business growth and success.”

The company’s journey began in a basement in Aurora. Stephens says it then moved to the Keswick area in Georgina and finally settled in Newmarket.

“This progression saw us grow from a small startup to a network of multi-million-dollar organizations, deeply integrated into the fabric of the region,” he describes.

They have extensively leveraged local resources, including the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and other regional chambers, which have been instrumental in their growth, he notes.

“These collaborations and the supportive business environment have been crucial to our development,” Stephens says.

Recently, they are starting to find and attract startups to the area to grow their own community through job creation, technological knowledge and entrepreneurial mindset, he adds. This is done through the Treefrog Accelerator, a program designed to support founders, especially in the app and AI sectors. The accelerator has even become a designated partner for the Government of Canada’s Startup Visa Program, which assists international startups with setting up operations in the country.

“Recognizing a gap in the market for business acumen among tech innovators, we developed this program to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge for successful entrepreneurship,” Stephens explains. “Approximately a six-week program, we fire-hose them with quality speakers and education and then have them present in front of investors to see if we can get them off the ground.”

The accelerator program was initiated in response to the needs of app and AI technology founders, he notes. It was initially funded through collaborations with Schulich School of Business at York University and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce. It has since become a global platform for teaching scalable startup strategies and funding acquisition under the name “Accelerate Newmarket,” he describes.

“Our partnerships with York University and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, among others, have significantly enhanced our capacity to serve scalable tech startups,” he adds. “These collaborations have enabled us to extend our impact within the local and global business community.”

The supportive political climate and various local initiatives in the York Region have played a vital role in Treefrog’s success, Stephens states. These elements have fostered a nurturing environment for business growth and community development.

“Being based in York Region has been pivotal to our growth and development,” he comments. “Its welcoming community, its advanced infrastructure and proximity to the Greater Toronto Area’s resources and cultural benefits have been key factors in our journey to success. Arts, sports, education, medical quality and more – we have it all here in the region. It’s just a little cold outside sometimes, but people here are warm in their hearts.”

For businesses considering York Region for growth or expansion, Stephens advises leveraging its unique blend of a supportive business environment and a family-friendly community. The region offers extensive resources and opportunities, making it an ideal location for diverse business ventures, he adds.

“York Region stands out for its robust business networks, excellent infrastructure and community-focused growth approach,” Stephens comments. “It is a place where businesses can thrive, supported by a resource-rich community, distinguishing it as a prime destination for business development.”

For more information visit: Treefrog websiteTreefrog Accelerator websiteYSpace websiteYR Innovation Portal.


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