That was the interesting question Lloyed Lobo asked in our Perspectives discussion on May 20. Turns out that most tech startups are. Lloyed is a serial entrepreneur who has established several ways to help startups succeed—and he makes them free to access. He does a really good job and his podcast has some great guests.
The “free money” he was talking about was the federal R&D tax credit and similar ones in the states, most particularly in California. In general, startups can get 10% of qualifying expenses back from the federal government either in the form of credits on income taxes or, since most startups don’t pay income taxes, as reductions of social security taxes paid on employees. There is an art, however, in claiming these expenses and if care is not taken in applying for them, the claims are rejected. He had great advice about how best to apply, and can help those who want to give it a shot. The most important piece of advice was to document thoroughly what expenses are claimed and keep excellent records. Applicants are subject to audit for three years and payments can be clawed back if the documentation is poor. OK, so the money is not entirely free. You have to work for it. Still, it is out there and available.
One of Lloyed’s consistent themes is on the importance of choosing the right team and on the four things good company leaders should focus on. He summarized that on our video. Everything he said was pretty valuable, so please if you are willing to view just one of our videos, make it this one. [LINK].
What Lloyed has to offer goes far beyond just these two insights. He and his team have built an extensive resource to help startups grow and thrive. His innovation was that people were less inclined now more than ever to attend a two-day conference and listen to two dozen speakers, no matter how good they were. The Covid Zoom experience has converted people to a preference for bite-size chunks of information. Lloyed used to do an annual Traction Conference in the traditional way. No longer. He has now taken his blue-ribbon list of speakers and makes them available on twice-weekly free podcasts. While this is not focused on clean tech specifically, it does apply to any tech startup. Check out the list of recent podcasts you can call up on the Boast website. Here are some sample titles:
- Ten Secrets to Building a Billion Dollar Company
- The Playbook to Reaching $100 Million in ARR
- Scaling Engineering Teams: Fast Growth Remote Culture
- Everything You Need to Know About Startup Finance
- The Key to High-Performing Companies
Lloyed helped out at the first TechStars StartUp Weekend in Sacramento and has maintained a good connection to us. He is based in the Bay Area and has always been willing to help. Good person to know.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStart's Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.