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Boast.ai Secures $100M to Fuel R&D Tax Credit-Based Financing for Startups

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VANCOUVER, BC, Feb. 17, 2021 /CNW/ — Boast.ai, a software innovator whose flagship product automates the complex process of applying for R&D tax credits, has secured a $100 million credit facility from Brevet Capital, a leading alternative credit investment and specialty finance firm, to launch an innovative financing platform enabling startups to receive cash advances on R&D tax credits and subsidies.

This new financing is in addition to Boast.ai’s $30M Series A led by Radian Capital that was announced last December. Announcing the deal today, Boast.ai said the novel financing vehicle would simplify the R&D credit process and fuel innovation.

This financing will enable Boast.ai to help startups recognize immediate cash benefits from R&D tax credits, which now exceed $15 billion a year between the U.S. and Canada, and $200 Billion globally but can take as long as 16 months to get since companies need to wait for tax filing season and government processing times. In Canada, the SR&ED program is the lifeblood of the innovation ecosystem, providing upwards of 60% cashback to small businesses investing in R&D. Startups will be able to leverage their R&D refund eligibility to receive financing on a predictable monthly or quarterly basis, enabling them to grow their business without delay and without surrendering equity.

Boast.ai has helped more than 1,000 innovative companies to recover R&D costs from the U.S. and Canadian government, streamlining the process and reducing the risk of costly audits. Boast.ai’s R&D tax credit software gathers data from a company’s existing technical and financial systems to identify, categorize, and time-track eligible projects, ensuring nothing is missed and all the supporting documentation is in place, leading to larger refunds with less investment of time and resources.

The breakthrough financing tool comes as startups increasingly look to alternative funding solutions to fuel their growth, particularly during the pandemic. Boast.ai is uniquely positioned to support R&D-based financing, serving both as a unified system of record for R&D data and as a sophisticated financing platform enabling companies to leverage their R&D as an asset to fund their business without giving up equity and dealing with paperwork.

Boast.ai’s team has extensive expertise in the technology and tax-credit space. Co-founder and CEO Alex Popa previously managed the R&D tax practice for large accounting firms, while co-founder and President Lloyed Lobo formerly ran product and growth for a number of venture-backed tech startups.  Brevet Capital, meanwhile, has handled more than $20 billion of transactions since its founding over 20 years ago.

“R&D is the engine of the modern economy, and innovative companies should be able to access the tax credits they’re entitled to,” said Popa “We’ve spent almost a decade honing our craft to help customers get more money, faster and with less risk, compared to any other solution in the market. We empower companies from startups to large enterprises to quantify the value of their R&D efforts, then leverage that asset through a successful R&D tax credit application which allows them to grow their business without unnecessary outside capital.”

“R&D tax credits are a huge untapped resource for companies looking to invest in and accelerate innovation,” said Douglas Monticciolo, CEO and Co-Founder of Brevet Capital. “R&D tax credits are a valuable form of capital — but the delays can be extremely challenging for early-stage companies. Boast.ai’s AI-powered financing platform eliminates those delays and allows startups to focus on creating new solutions and products while immediately reaping the benefits of their hard-earned R&D efforts.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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