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Nov. 3, 2021

#11 How to get the Government to fund your Startup with SR&ED (SHRED) Credits with Naren Balakrishnan

#11 How to get the Government to fund your Startup with SR&ED (SHRED) Credits with Naren Balakrishnan

Big three Takeaways: 

1.       Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) or SHRED program can be a fantastic financial resource to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Naren’s team at Grant Thornton helps companies navigate the complex process of applying for SR&ED credits.

 2.       Tracking activity is important when it comes to SR&ED applications. The lesson here is to create systems that can scale. There’s a great quote in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits that says “You do not rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.” This quote is applicable for any business., but is essential where you're trying to create consistency.

 3.       A mistake I see a lot of people make in business and in life is focusing too much on the price of hiring a specialist to help solve a problem, instead of looking at the value of the opportunity you can unlock with the help of an expert or consultant you’re considering hiring. For example, A good accountant might cost $5,000 a year, but they may help you save hundreds of thousands while you’re working with them. 

 Other Takeaways for entrepreneurs 

00:01:13 – Naren introduces Grant Thornton and his role as an Research & Development and Government Incentives (RDGI) consultant, helping companies access government funding.

00:03:07 – Naren explains the SR&ED program.

00:04:08 – What qualifies as innovation from a SR&ED perspective, Naren explains the concept of technological uncertainty and gives a comparison to a toolbox.

00:08:14 – Naren provides an example of the type of a company he worked with 

00:09:15 – What industries (superclusters) is the CRA looking to support through the SR&ED program?

00:10:23 – Naren gives examples of some superclusters or areas of innovation the CRA is looking at

00:12:25 – How Naren got started learning about SR&ED

00:14:31 – The similarities and differences between a company pitching for private investment vs. an application for Government funding 

00:16:27 – How founders and entrepreneurs should think about the application process for SR&ED.

00:17:10 – Why you should be proactive and keep records R&D activity and expenses early

00:21:50 – Naren’s team also helps build systems to track SR&ED eligible activity more effectively

00:26:16 – How much money does Canada have in the SR&ED program and how does it compare to other countries

00:28:10 – What Naren thinks Canada is doing right and areas that can be improved in terms of attracting talent, and enabling innovation

00:31:14 – Why a more holistic approach between government and regulators is a better approach to funding innovation and keeping talent in Canada

 00:34:50 – Don’t disqualify yourself before exploring the opportunity for SR&ED funding.

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