Desmond Brisbin

Sales and Marketing Manager, FreshWorks Studio Inc. Established in 2014

Regardless of what you sell, TAP will provide all the tools and information you need in order to kick-start a successful export plan.

Give us your elevator pitch. Describe your business in 25 words or less.

FreshWorks Studio has a team of over 50 Canadians and specializes in designing and developing elegant and highly functional mobile, web, and blockchain apps.

What was your biggest challenge in terms of business growth and exporting before you joined TAP?

Before joining TAP our challenge with exporting was that we didn't know where to begin. We had a valuable service to offer that was well received locally but we needed to know what the steps were in order to bring that service to new markets. As we grew, our potential growth was beginning to be limited. As our operations scaled up the pool of qualified opportunities in our local market was shrinking.

Where do you currently export?

We are exporting to the Pacific Northwestern U.S. This includes Washington and Oregon in an area that's been called the Cascadia Innovation Corridor.

What is the next international market you would like to tap into, and why?

We will be continuing penetration into the U.S. moving south towards San Francisco and the bay area as that is a hub for tech companies that we would like to work with. We will also be looking at either Boston or New York as another market to approach because of the density of potential enterprise clients as well as tech companies.

What did your team learn from TAP?

We learned a lot, but some important items were strategies for managing liability and locations of resources for financial and operational risk mitigation that was market and industry-specific. EDC and BDC had programs built to help businesses succeed in foreign markets that needed detailed explanation. We relearned the importance of hedging against foreign currency fluctuations for long-term contracts, and where to turn to for assistance in many relevant activities such as crafting sales or marketing plans for export markets or insuring foreign contracts.

What have been the key outputs for you and your company since graduating TAP?

Our key output so far has been a sizeable network of contacts in the Seattle area. Using the resources and contacts from TAP we were able to get introduced to a number of valuable community leaders in the area and leverage their network to introduce ourselves.

Who do you think could benefit most from participating in TAP?

From what we've seen I think any business (literally ANY business) can benefit from TAP if you intend to sell into foreign markets. The program is not specific to any one industry or one type of company. If you are a product-based company you probably stand to benefit a little more than a service company but regardless of what you sell, TAP will provide all the tools and information you need in order to kick-start a successful export plan.

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