This week Wrays and our industry friends, Nifty Grants, Standard Ledger and LaunchLink hosted an intimate event – Startup to Scaleup Toolkit Workshop. We brought together expertise on protecting IP, startup valuations, managing media relations and accessing R&D Tax Incentives.
Attendees engaged in four sessions provided by the following subject matter experts:
Remco from Standard Ledger ran through a valuations 101 with some simple but reliable methods of working out how much a startup should be worth and therefore how much equity should be offered to a potential investor at what funding levels.
- Raising capital is a significant undertaking and can be a distraction so be confident in your valuation and your offer
- Employee options saves cash but dilutes your potential investor’s equity position.
- ‘Valuation is what someone would pay for part of your company, so think like they do’
R&D Tax Incentives
Jeremy from Nifty Grants spoke about the compliance landscape for R&D Tax and why it’s a great way to access pre-commercial income as long as participants take their responsibilities of self-assessment and documentation seriously and make sure they understand the eligibility rules.
- Claimants priority should be to submit an accurate claim not on maximising their claim
- Be self-critical on how much of that hard work really meets the eligibility rules, it may not all be eligible and over -reaching can result in claims being rejected
- Be on the front foot and submit your claim with the mindset that you will be audited or reviewed so get your documentation in order
Our very own Dan talked through the priorities and expectations of protecting IP across trademarks, patents and design protection through to unregistered rights of copyright and trade secrets. Some great insight into potential costs, benefits and some war stories on getting it right and wrong.
- Trademarks are a powerful tool for protection – as long as they’re renewed, they’re perpetual
- Ownership of the IP is important – consider who’s filing and if they are seeking the commercial use of it or not
- Protecting IP is expensive so make sure you know what you want protection for and where and for what purpose
Media & Public Relations
Felicia from Launchlink explained PR strategies and pitfalls from an anatomy of a press release, through to managing journalists and when (and when not) to engage in PR in the life-cycle of a company and its products.
- PR is not marketing or advertising and consistency is the key for any business objective
- Creating content that is newsworthy is an art and can be learned – consider factors such as timeliness, proximity, impact, prominence, oddity, relevance and conflict to stand out
- Tell a good story when you have a good story, don’t just scatter gun releases because you want to create noise