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Public funding: R&D is not the end game

Posted on February 27 2012 | Author: John Pickard

Had I only known when I was planning my last entrepreneurial venture about the extent of public funding that was available for start-ups. God bless the federal, provincial and municipal governments that have dug deep and provided grants and loans to enable companies to clear some technology hurdles or develop a prototype to test their technology in the real world.

There is no end to the programs offered by IRAP, SR&ED, or NRC, most of which are geared toward early stages of technology. These programs seek to answer the unanswered questions about how something might work…or how it might not. All very much needed, I would say. However, the real sweat comes when the innovator knows that the technology does work and has application to solve real world problems. That is when the public funding dries up.

Acme Inc. has already spent 4 years validating their technology, developing a brand, and courting customers. Maybe they already have a production facility, are revenue positive, and are looking to expand their market. That is precisely where the dollar crunch comes. The government funds don’t apply, angel money is not enough, venture capital is non-existent, and it’s too early for private equity. Oh, and need I mention, banks are not in the risk business by the way. The company dies on the vine because no one wants to fund that emerging stage.

It’s time for government funding programs to trim their funding of “wish-list” concepts, technologies and companies and devote some of that trimming to invest in ventures that have made the grade.

A great example is Ontario’s Emerging Technology Fund (OEFT) that “matches” private investment on a dollar for dollar basis. The government enters and exits on the same terms as the private investor. Canadian business needs more of this kind of thinking… government dollars following private investors, dollars following technologies and businesses that are beyond R&D and into real business.

Promoting R&D is great, but investing in real companies with real technology and real customers is the end game.

John Pickard
Entrepreneur in Residence, Bioenterprise

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Receive Money Back when You Apply for the CETC tax!

Posted on February 06 2012 | Author: Admin

Oh the joys of the hiring process! I’m sure managers must jump at the opportunity to hire a new employee, because who wouldn’t want to read piles and piles of cover letters and resumes, or sit through endless hours of interviews, sounds appealing doesn’t it?

If you are one of these managers who dislike the burden of recruiting new employees, you should definitely consider hiring a co-op. University or college institutions typically set up the hiring process, which means your work is cut in half. All you need to do is provide a concise job description and decide what degree programs you feel will adequately qualify for the demands of the position. This will help to filter out the types, and amount, of students who apply to the jobs, ultimately simplifying the hiring process. Now just sit back, and wait for the applications! Institutions will also assist in securing time slots for the interview process, according to your convenience.

Seems pretty simple now, right?

‘CHA CHINGGGG!,’ there goes that sound in the back of your mind…will you be able to afford the costs of hiring a new employee? Have no fear, the Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC) is here... if you a hire a co-op student, that is.

The Ontario Ministry of Revenue has introduced the CETC, which benefits employers who hire students enrolled in a co-operative education program at post-secondary institutions across Ontario. Simply put, you can receive up to $3000 in tax credits!

Is hiring a co-op student sounding better to you yet?... Still not convinced?

In addition to our eagerness to learn and apply our academics to the real world, co-op students may choose to recognize your company as an ‘outstanding employer.’ This could grant you the opportunity to win awards such as “Co-op Employer of the Year” (depending on the institution). I’m sure Bioenterprise Corporation can definitely vouch for truth in this statement, as recipient of this award in 2010 from the University of Guelph.

Start contacting post-secondary institutions near you, to see if your organization can benefit from this great opportunity, and be amazed by our student potential!

Christina Lippa
Marketing and Communications Assistant, Bioenterprise


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