From investing in R&D and accessing finance, to taking a new product to market and expanding into new geographies – these are all major considerations for a business of any scale.
But when an individual or small business is at the start of their journey, it’s often hard to digest all the required information.
I’ve worked with a wide range of businesses over the past eight years at KPMG, and regardless of their size and ambitions, one thing that they all need to scale and grow is collaboration. Whether that’s partnering with another area of expertise to boost R&D, or maximising their networks and contacts for advice and support, it’s fundamental to their success.
Commitment to collaboration is what makes Nexus really special and it’s why I’m thrilled to be part of its engagement team, which is responsible for facilitating productive working partnerships between business and academia. Working directly with Nexus’ growing community to identify where support and guidance is needed, my role is all about helping regional start-ups and SMEs to grow, from the very early stages of a business concept, right through to exit strategies.
Nexus already has a thriving community, with some of the region’s most exciting start-ups located here. By listening closely about the support and advice they need and collaborating with the Nexus events team, who are dedicated to creating a year-round programme of events for members, we decided to launch ‘The Breakfast Briefing’ series.
Each session is tailored to the needs of innovative start-ups and high growth businesses and features information and advice from a panel of leading professional services partners from across the region.
This is followed by a workshop session, where entrepreneurs and SMEs can have a one-to-one session with an expert to draw on their invaluable experience and discuss challenges specific to them.
The first in the series was ‘Making the most of innovation tax reliefs’, which looked at different incentives available, such as R&D tax credits and Patent Box, which are designed to help innovation driven businesses to accelerate their R&D and grown.
KPMG claims and incentives experts, Luke Sheriff and Joe Griffiths, were able to take our Breakfast Briefing audience through the qualifying R&D criteria for projects and the types of costs that can be claimed.
Loss-making SMEs are eligible to claim up to £33.35 cash benefit for every £100 of qualifying spend, is good news for entrepreneurs in the innovation space and over 40,000 businesses claimed in excess of £3.5 billion from the Treasury in 2016/17.
Given that research and innovation is at the heart of the Nexus proposition, we would expect the majority of members to be able to claim those reliefs, which can make an enormous difference to innovative businesses, which are often loss-making in their early growth stages.
The Breakfast Briefing series continues in September, with events covering the issues and challenges that so many start-ups and SMEs face in the early stages of their growth journey. These events include:
- Getting Talent on Board – Tuesday 10th September
- Sales and Marketing– Tuesday 8th October
- Fundraising and Route to Exit – Tuesday 12th November
- IP and Insurance – Tuesday 3rd December