Funding Options with Swoop Canada on The Startup Talk Podcast
Daire Burke of Swoop Funding Canada joins the Startup Coach to talk about the different types of funding options available to startups in Canada.
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Funding Options with Swoop Canada on the Startup Talk Podcast
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The Startup Coach: Welcome back to startup talk. I’m your host, a startup coach and founder of Toronto starts one of the largest startup communities in Canada. And with me today is Darra Burke of swoop Canada.
How are you doing?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Good appreciate you bringing me on Craig as always.
The Startup Coach: Funding is the number one thing people ask about. They want to know how to get money for the startups what’s available. And it’s a shame when people don’t take advantage of funding and leave money on the table, especially when it comes to tax credits and other monies that are a.
You know, we just went through COVID. There was a whole bunch of different COVID programs for different people, and people need to be aware of this. So it’s very valuable having great partners like you, that cover all the aspects of funding programs for different businesses. And since you know, I know what you do.
Why don’t we tell the audience a little bit about, uh,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, of course. So I think it touched on a little bit already Craig, but fundamentally we’re trying to make the process as easy as quick and as seamless as possible for small businesses to access funding, we help businesses, access loans, grants, tax credits, and also find equity investors.
Um, if that’s what they’re looking for, in addition to funding, we also help businesses with savings, um, of, of different kinds. So just FX. So just energies and utilities and insurance as well. Um, so yeah, we, we try to be a one-stop shop for business financing for, for, for small and medium sized businesses.
The Startup Coach: And I know swoop is international and has been out for a long time. How long has swoop in,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: in Canada? We are quite new to Canada. We launched November 1st, 20, 21. So we are quite new. Um, but the reaction in the market’s been fantastic and we’ve been able to not be able to talk. Demonstrate quite a lot of traction.
We’ve got a lot of businesses now using the platform we partner with most of the banks and non-bank lenders in Canada, we’ve got about 55 vendors on the platform. So we’ve been able to really build a comprehensive marketplace before launching and even after launching as well. So we do have a pretty comprehensive offering for small businesses in Canada.
Um, and I think that’s evidenced by the fact that we’re getting so, you know, such a good volume of registrations all the time. We’ve been able to help quite a few small businesses.
The Startup Coach: I mentioned earlier that one of the Mo the number one thing I get asked about is funding. Yeah. So the quiet people don’t know when to reach out.
Are they too early, too late? So when should someone reach out to Sue Canada, find out what’s available and, and start that relation.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: I, yeah, th there’s there’s no such time as, too early for us. Like a key part of our mission is being relevant for businesses right. Throughout their life cycle. So whether they’re in the ideation phase, uh, they’re starting out, maybe they’re even.
Creating the first business plan or pitch deck, we’ll be able to have a conversation and maybe steer them in the right direction. If they’re a business that’s helping to grow really fast, but is looking to invest in technology and product development. We can help them find a VC or an angel investor that that might be a good fish.
We can always look at startup loans if they’re still, if they’re, if they haven’t quite started, there’s some programs in Canada that help businesses would start a blown. And if they’re starting to mature grow up, they’re looking to purchase equipment, inventory stock, maybe hire their first person again, there’s, there’s, there’s lending products and non-dilutive funding options there.
And there’s also some, some, some grant programs and some government programs that can help, help them get to where they need to get to. So we try to bring together all of the sources of funding in the marketplace, so that we’re not just dash and we’re not just equity. We’re trying to piece together all the components that businesses can make.
The Startup Coach: Most startups I talked to are focused on grant, which can be very competitive instead of tax credits. So can you tell me the difference between grants and tax credits? Yeah.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: So grants obviously is money from government sources, uh, for specific uses. And this is where there’s sometimes we find there, there can be a knowledge gap.
Most government grant programs are structured. In a, in a co-funded manner. And what I mean by that is if you’re taking on a project that achieved some goal in sustainability or hiring somebody very often, the business has to fund all or parts of the expense. And then the government grant program. Fund part of the cost or all of the costs after the fact, that means that a business will have to have capital and acts or access to capital in order to do the project or do whatever the grant is designed to achieve.
And then the grant will come in in, in, in support of that. But very often it’s a co-funded grant. So. Government cash, um, given to the business for a specific use case tax credits, as the name suggest is funding. That’s used offset at tax liabilities of the company in the future. A lot of businesses are loss making, so it can also be a positive cash injection.
So I think a really, really common and well known program in Canada is shred, which is, um, you know, a fantastic program that allows businesses to commercialize innovation. If they’re developing IP, if the developing. They can apply for the shred program and it is a cash injection, just like a grant. So yeah, there, there, there, there are, there are differences, but I think a key point to note is when, when businesses are looking for grants, as you pointed out, Competitive, one of the really popular ground programs that we’ve, um, sort of help businesses with is con X-Force and they allocate funding to the program.
The funding gets, gets allocated at to businesses, and then they’ll replenish it at another point in time. So it can be competitive for businesses. But as a, as I mentioned already, uh, a key part, a key kind of Nottage got that we see is that businesses don’t realize that the government aren’t just going to hand you the cash to do the project.
Very often, you have to cope with.
The Startup Coach: Yeah, and that’s a good point. A lot of times you have to put a certain amount of money in and show what you’re doing there. Okay. And do you mention the can export program briefly? Most people do not. Aren’t aware of what that means and the amount of funding that’s available.
Can you just give us a brief summary?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s a program that’s been around a while. They released another stronger funding in, in, in January. So they are at different points in time. We’re replenishing that field of cash that’s available for businesses as the name suggests it’s designed for exporting.
So businesses that might have customers in the us or elsewhere, uh, would be in scope and eligible to apply for that funding. The amount of funding available varies depending on the pool that’s available. So, um, it could be up to $20,000 or it could be up to $60,000 depending. When exactly depending on the time of
The Startup Coach: year, correct me if I’m wrong, the can export program is one of the only programs that helps you pay for.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, exactly. The use cases for us are far reaching really, really, really, really helpful program. And, uh, as I say, depending on the scale of your business and on what you’re doing, you can get up to $50,000. You can get up to $250,000 if you’re a larger SME, but the scope is quite wide in terms of activities.
And so businesses that would fall under the Nash. So really, really good for.
The Startup Coach: Yeah. So people are doing conferences and marketing campaigns in the U S and drumming up business. They really need to take a look at these types of programs cause otherwise they’re leaving money on the table.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, absolutely.
And that’s a key theme of grants leaving money on the table. So another one that came online quite recently, which is a fantastic program is the digital adoption program. And this could be as simple as. You’re selling online. So here in e-commerce businesses, you might not even realize that you’re eligible for this, this, this new program.
So the scope of what, what digital adoption means is purposefully quite wide and far reaching and encompasses quite a lot of activities. So there are a lot of businesses that are either doing something digital or intending to invest in some type of digitalization for their business, and therefore could, could qualify for this grant as well.
So, Half the bottle sometimes is just staying up to speed and understanding what’s out there and have your finger on the polls, which is quite time consuming because these programs change week to week. And that’s one of the value propositions that we hope to bring as a platform. So that businesses, uh, when they register an account with those for free can get an up-to-date view of what grounds are available at that point in time and are are relevant for that.
The Startup Coach: And you mentioned the time sensitivity of some of these things. A government will release, uh, funding for a grant program, and it can be oversubscribed within weeks or days, as we’ve seen during COVID things have been more funded and less funded and things change rapidly. How important it is to have your finger on the pulse of these things.
Cause a lot of founders drag their feet and say, I’ll look at it later. Oftentimes that’s true.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, we’ve seen quite a few examples where people put it on the long finger, try to write the grant application themselves and maybe get it. Don’t get it quite right. You know, being proactive, getting ahead of this, uh, incorporating it in maybe a monthly review cycle.
Uh, w once a month, did you check in and see what might be available? This is maybe good hygiene. And then for some of those more complex grants, like if you’re doing a big infrastructure project and sustainability, for example, there could be quite a lot of funding there, but sometimes the applications can be.
Either time-consuming or a little bit complex or required a little bit of extra knowledge, and there are lots of businesses out there to help you with that as well, and might not charge you fees up front. So it is accessible for, for startups as well. So I think that’s another thing to bear in mind that sometimes the grant writing piece can, can turn fenders off because by their nature they’re startup vendors, they’re busy, they haven’t got the time, but this is a, you know, really helpful funding that could take them to the next.
The Startup Coach: Startups come to me and say, well, I don’t think there’s anything for my industry or my type of business. Are there specific industries or types of businesses or sectors that you work with, or maybe more importantly that you don’t work with? Uh,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: not, not especially one of the value propositions that we bring is.
For some sectors and I’ll, I’ll use cannabis. As an example, sometimes they get treated, you know, a certain way by the traditional vendors. So if you’re a cannabis business, it’s difficult to get traditional lending because they won’t lend to cannabis businesses or businesses that are involved in manufacturing of guns or those sin industries and gambling, et cetera.
Now, whilst we haven’t really been working with those industries, It is a sector that we, we do a lot of work with and we help them have grants and lending products, generally speaking, we’re absolutely sector agnostic and we’ll look to help, you know, all businesses with their, with their financing needs and help them get to where they need to.
The Startup Coach: equity early on, how do you help businesses with funding via.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Our network includes, you know, aside from the Def finance providers that we work with, we have a large pool of venture capital funds on angel investors and angel funds that we work with. And the way that we work with them is we onboard them as, as, as funding partners understand what type of companies they’re looking for in their portfolio, what their investment thesis is, what their ticket sizes are, et cetera.
And with. User base of businesses that we, that we come in contact with, we’ll match them off where there’s a suitable fit. So if we have a business that is creating solutions related to digital assets, or, you know, creating a new marketplace or some, some, some solution, and they’re looking for equity financing.
So they’re looking to do a capital raise from a venture fund or from an angel investor, we’ll help them get matched off with a fund that, that, that we believe is a good. Uh, that’s essentially how our process works, works on the, on the equity financing side. And we talked about
The Startup Coach: loans a couple of times and, and I mentioned it before, but founders seem to shy away from loans, even though it’s one of the cheapest forms of capital.
What types of loans do you.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: On the debt side of the platform, we do have quite a comprehensive array of, of loans that are on offer. So everything from startup loans, corporate cards, lines of credit to asset financing and equipment financing, equipment leasing term lending. Uh, right up to commercial mortgages for, for some of the more mature, bigger companies that use our platform.
So, so we do try to make sure that we have those non-dilutive lending options for companies irrespective of where they are in their journey. Um, as I said earlier for startups, sometimes the first starting point is to start. So it’s not a massive cash injection might be $20,000 to $60,000. But a little bit, I maybe that, that founder, a little bit of capital to test and validate their product or invest a little bit in marketing, or maybe even hire their first person.
So it allows them to kind of get moving on. And to your point around shying away from desk is always a really interesting question and that kind of a topic of conversation, but that is non-dilutive funding. So you can test it against your operating model, assuming that your unit economics make sense, that you can take on a little bit of debt and services.
You’re getting yourself further on your journey you’re growing, but you’re not, you’re not giving away any of your company as you would be on the equity side of the business. So I think the old finance saying of debt is cheap, cheaper than equity does typically mean. Now I noticed
The Startup Coach: on your platform, you have over 200 grants that are searchable.
How does all that work? And can you give us an example of.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: As you say, we have a database of products in our platform within grants because Canada has such a diverse and comprehensive array of government funding programs. We do have over 200 DNR in our platform and on a weekly basis status changing. So we’re updating brand suite with new expiry dates, new remains, we’re adding new grants.
We’re taking off ones that are expired. So it is a quite a dynamic. So the way it works is a company registers on swoop. They provide some information about the business. They provide some information about what type of funding they’re looking for, what they’re looking to achieve, and I’m using those data points and, and any data that integrated.
So we, we also have businesses to integrate their accountancy software, uh, integrate their bank account. W we can use those data points to match them. What grant funding programs that, that are relevant for them, depending on what age they are, depending on. Province they’re operating in, depending on what sector they’re operating in.
All of those pieces are used and match them with those 200 odd government funding programs that you mentioned that are in our, in our.
The Startup Coach: Can you tell us a little bit about the spread tax credit program?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Shreds is an orange D innovation program. Again is very, very far reaching and is relevant for a huge number of businesses across Canada.
Whether you’re in my fracturing, whether you’re in software development, if you’re creating anything. IP, if you’re creating any type of knowledge, there’s a very real chance that those activities are what’s called shreddable. So they are in scope for a shred application, really, really lucrative program.
When you compare it against. Similar or in detox, credit programs, other jurisdictions. So, you know, as you mentioned, we, we, we do operate in a lot of different markets and Arland and the UK and in Australia. And I think shred is probably the best one detox program that we’ve come up against that we’ve we’ve, we’ve, we’ve come across businesses.
Submit a shred application and the cash comes back from the government as an actual cash advance, which is, which is, you know, incredibly valuable for founders or early in their journey. In addition to the that when, when shred applications have been submitted, If, if a founder wants to get moving on the project on use that use that capital as quickly as possible through are also options to, to finance the application as there are with other grant funded programs.
So rather than waiting four months, five months, which is sometimes the timeframe that it can take to, to get the application by founders can actually get an advance on that cash and then repay the loan when, when the shreds, uh, application before.
The Startup Coach: Yeah, and people don’t really understand once you start talking, spread their eyes, roll over, but I like to keep it simple.
And depending on what province here. You can get back 66 to 68 cents on the dollar you spend on development, technical stuff. If you’re hiring people to do technical work, you should be looking
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: into this. Yeah. So 65% plus, and that’s salaries, contractors, anything that goes into that production of the, not the new knowledge or the IP.
So there’s a huge amount that can be. Included in the shred application, you know, there’s other programs like, like Iraq that are also very similar and should also be considered, uh, at a provincial level. There’s some other programs like if you’re in Quebec e-business is another one that that’s, that’s also worth looking at.
So it is a diverse and, um, sort of far reaching grants landscape out there for innovation. So shred is, I would say the most well-known and probably the most lucrative, but there are other programs that are worth looking at.
The Startup Coach: We’ve got a couple of questions from our chat room on YouTube and here on zoom.
So I’m going to do the first one here. Is it true that grants even from government are taxable?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: No, I, I may stand corrected on this, but I don’t believe grants are taxable. I outsource anyway, when they come, when they come into.
The Startup Coach: Another question here about can swoop help with bridge financing in advance of a larger expected upcoming round?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: absolutely. So we’ve helped a number of businesses get debt financing in between rounds to extend cash runway or indeed prolong. Um, how long it takes. To do a second floating render a first winning range. Uh, venture debt products are very popular here. So some VCs that we work with in some, some lenders that we work with operate as both equity investors on debt providers, bridging finance between funding Ryan’s is really, really popular, particularly with technology companies that are a good fit for equity, equity financing.
So that’s something that we see quite a lot of. Getting increasingly popular. I think in Canada, one of the
The Startup Coach: things I see that startups don’t take enough advantage of is a different hiring grants and programs from the government, um, that are available. Can you just mention one
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: or two? So again, at a provincial level, there are various programs available for hiring, whether.
There’s co-op programs. So, you know, we, we, our salads as a business have benefited from Ontario grants for taking on co-ops. If you’re taking on a tech hire there’s various programs available at a provincial level as well. So depending on what provinces province you’re in, there’s almost always at some hiring grant available in particular where you’re taking on engineering or technology resources.
The Startup Coach: funding aside, you also help with savings. How does that
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: work? We are a one-stop shop for financing. So aside from just funding, we try to make sure that businesses are getting the, getting the most out of our, out of our platform. So we help businesses save money in foreign exchange. So if they’re purchasing stock or materials from another country, if they’ve got customers in another country and they’re dealing with multiple currencies, Rather than just going through their regular business bank account.
We try to make sure that they’re paying the lowest rate possible. And in many cases, we’ve been able to save businesses 10, 20, $30,000 a year at small businesses just by it changing to a new FX solution. Another piece that’s becoming increasingly topical is related to energy. So we’re walking into what seems like an energy crisis at the moment across the globe.
Businesses might be looking for different ways to say when you check. We have a partner on our website that compares rates in the different provinces in Canada to help businesses find, find the cheapest rate available. And that’s something that we’ve done in other markets as well. We’ve helped businesses with insurance and business banking as well to make sure that they’re getting the lowest rates possible there too.
So we do. I have a savings component to our, to our offering as well. That we’re, we’re really, really proud of as well.
The Startup Coach: You mentioned the different programs in different provinces. What provinces do you cover and help
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: with? So we are across Canada. We’ve helped companies and in all provinces, including Quebec, even though our user journey is in English.
And, and by that logic kind of speaks to an English speaking audience, we will be releasing a French version of our users are need within the next six months, as well as I say, we. Uh, upon Canada on serve businesses and old provinces
The Startup Coach: are the different programs in each provinces similar or are there a couple of.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: I think on the innovation side, uh, Quebec has some really interesting when I mentioned the e-business program that exists excuse to be there. I thought that that is really interesting on the hiring brands as well. Uh, Ontario and BC have have some programs that don’t exist in instead of seeing in other provinces.
So there are nuances and again, within our matching engine, we do. Match businesses based on Providence as well. So they can get a good view of what walk round programs are available in
The Startup Coach: their province. So we have another question come in about working with soup. Do we have to pay to use loop or do you take a percentage of the grants we get?
It’s probably different depending on what’s happening. So.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: We don’t charge businesses to use our platform. So you can sign up, you can use the platform, you can see our matches, you can interact with the products. All of that is free. Uh, we don’t charge if a business, you know, gets matched with a grant where we generate revenue as a company is through success fees from lending products typically.
So if you get matched with a loan and you successfully draw down on the loan that you choose from the matching. Then the lender would typically pay whoop a commission for originating that business on the grants and side of the business. It’s more of a value add offering that we’re bringing to the table because we don’t collect revenue.
We don’t collect commissions from the government because that’s not how they’re structured as, as entities. So it’s, it’s, it’s more of a value add piece that we’re bringing because it’s, it’s, it’s essentially adding value to the lives of small business.
The Startup Coach: The federal government just came out with a budget.
What new things should businesses be? Keeping an eye on
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: federal budget was a really interesting one, particularly for innovators. So if over the next number of years, businesses in Canada are involved in innovation or in D creating knowledge. There is a new fund. That’s been set up to distribute capital to those companies, which I think was interesting and definitely welcomed by most people in the innovation space.
There wasn’t a huge amount for small businesses specifically, and I know the CFIB requires automated on this. 67% of SMEs in Canada came out of COVID with COVID related debt. So debt that was taken on to the car taken on by the business sharing during COVID in many instances to kind of survive. I think the average across all was was, was around 150 K.
And maybe one ADK actually. And that was significant when you think about what the average size of those companies are. So I think there was a hope in some quarters that there might be some alleviating measures for, for that dash, which, which there wasn’t. So I think that unfortunately was, was missing and another one to, to call it life was.
The taxation rage was made slightly more favorable for small, for small businesses, which, which, which obviously is something that’s beneficial immigration strategy. Eh, in, in Canada, I think is one that sets us apart globally. And I know they made some, some differences to the temporary foreign worker program, which, which expands in really, I think that helps small business owners to, to build up their workforce more easily on, on the, on the back of COVID.
So there are. I think in most parts of the economy, a bit of a talent crunch on a bit of a top and shortage. So getting, getting some kind of skilled foreign workers in we’ll we’ll, we’ll hopefully help alleviate that over the next number of years, the main winners out of the federal budget, from our perspective.
And again, our, our lens is very. Business-focused not really dealing with personal, personal credit for the moment, but from a business effective companies involved with innovation, there’s certainly some, some, some wins in there. There’s some tax changes that will be favorable on the temporary foreign worker program, I think is also interesting development for, for businesses.
That’ll be taking on more staff over the next.
The Startup Coach: How does the process of working with swoop work? I want to talk to somebody because I don’t know what’s available for me. Do I go on your website, sign up? How does the process work? What can a startup founder expect? It’s super
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: easy. Go to swim. funding.com have joined swoop.
The registration takes that to me. Uh, as I mentioned already, it’s free. You’ll, you’ll have the opportunity to just look at funding options. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak with a member of our team directly. If you’d like to, um, we, we usually call everyone that interacts with us. Anyway. There’s other ways of interacting with us through our website, whether it’s through our chat box, whether it’s through the phone number that’s available that direct line to our.
Uh, you can communicate to us via email again, in the contact those section. Uh, you can reach out to us on social media on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. So there’s a whole bunch of ways you can come in contact with us. I think the, the, the easiest way to get plugged into our service is by registering an account, go to swift funding.com, hit joints, whoop, um, and the process takes about two.
The Startup Coach: Great. And people can sign up to have a call there or talk to people. Yeah,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: absolutely. So if you’ve registered with us, our team will give you a call right away. There’s other ways of booking a call on our website directly. If you’d like to have a conversation with a member of our team, navigating finances, a bit complex, it’s not straightforward for other people.
And very often people are time poor, or you’re trying to run your business. So all we’re trying to do. Is through some of that time and help help you do some of the heavy lifting. So always feel free to reach out and we’ll have a conversation with you and try to figure out what, what, what, what the best funding strategy might be for you.
The Startup Coach: What are the most common things you see where areas you see, where startups are leaving money on the table, not taking advantage of programs. They might not be.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, I think grant is an obvious one because it changes so frequently. Uh, new programs come online and unless you’re plugged in to some grants ecosystem that maybe it’s your social media, or maybe it’s your partnerships, but unless you’re kind of plugged into some outlet, that’s shows that’s showing you where these grants are coming from.
You’ll probably miss that. So that’s one thing. You know, money’s being left on the table. I think the other piece is when businesses are investing in new projects, you know, they’re developing a new product. They’re starting out. There’s there’s ways of making, you know, getting the most amount of capital possible.
So you submit a shred off. If you find onset and get moving earlier, you can set, you know, submit another shred application and make it even bigger trunk trying to basically maximize the value of your shred or your, your innovation grant application, I think is key and on pairing it with death, you know, obviously debt that’s reasonable for the business, of course, but make making use of non-dilutive funding sources that are available to you.
I think there’s another, another way that businesses are leaving cash on the table and even fundamentally just growth capital that’s available to them. Um,
The Startup Coach: That’s a really good point. People don’t really think about it. Apply for shred. You know, you’re going to get $250,000 back. You get a credit or a loan from somebody based on that.
You hire even more people to do more work faster and you apply for an even bigger thing on spread. And so you’re, you’re getting more back. You’re doing more. And you’re getting, you know, 65 plus cents on the dollar and people aren’t just take, and it’s a tax credit program. This is money government owes you.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, exactly. And it can be paired with other grant programs too.
The Startup Coach: Absolutely. And you got to keep those in mind. Can you tell us briefly the difference between Iraq and. They, uh,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: are very, very similar on, we have a breakdown on our website of the kind of key, key, key differences, but they’re often called sister programs over each other at eligibility is largely the same on like w we’ve helped businesses access.
Uh, sometimes in tandem. Uh, so, you know, it’s, it’s not necessarily mutually exclusive and, you know, businesses can apply for both programs, both innovation and IP related tread tends to have a higher percentage of refundable activities. So it tends to be a preferred option with
The Startup Coach: Iraq. You have to apply for it ahead of time versus shred.
You apply for that.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, exactly. But again, both programs can be financed as well. So if you are doing those activities and you need a cash ahead of time to kickstart the project or get moving, then again, there are financing options available. So, uh, understanding eligibility is the first first piece. And then, you know, understanding how much you’re going to get back under broad programs.
And if you can apply for both, uh, and then if you can find on one or both applications and make the claims in the second year, even. Um, I think those are the kinds of questions that that founders should, should, should she work there as well?
The Startup Coach: I got a very generic question here. Um, about any grants for startups in grants or starting a business.
Hundreds. And I’m looking for, uh, uh, more clarification on the types of business or that kind of thing on these questions, but, uh, can you talk generally about that? Yeah. The funds that are available. Yeah,
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: exactly. So there are, you know, grants are pretty far reaching. It depends on the sector. If you’re involved in sustainability or innovation, there might be specific ones for that.
Obviously I would encourage you to, to, to register with us so you can see specifically walk grants, won’t be available for your business, depending on what scenario. I think when you’re starting out, pairing it with options that are available. Uh, I’ll take an example of future for your is, is a, is a partner of ours that we do a bit of work with.
And again, it’s helpful if you’re in the ideation phase as well, because they’ll pair you off with a mentor that’s, you know, rather than for your sector and what you’re trying to achieve, uh, give you a little bit of a startup loan and then obviously marsh. With, with grants that, that we can find through swoop.
So, yeah. Sorry, not specific to yours. I don’t understand what business it is, but come talk to us. Yeah, exactly.
The Startup Coach: It’s a little vague. So it’s hard to say, but future preneurs. Great. They’ve got a two year program from idea onward and depending where you are with BDC matching and get up like 60 K in a low interest loan.
Never and you match that with other funding that’s available and like, this is how the program spring off each other.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, exactly. And I’m very often we, where we come in is okay. We’ll obviously make Futurpreneur available to our users if there’s pure startups, but as they’re graduating from that two year pro.
They’ve got traction. They’ve got validation. They’re starting to generate a bit of revenue, but they nanny to take the next step in scaling, you know, we’ll assemble the growth products that are relevant for them at that point as well. So at the whole journey of, of kind of just supporting growth and trying to make it as fast as possible.
The Startup Coach: there are grants starting from low thousands to hundreds of thousands. So. Like the city, the municipals give out grants. City of Toronto gives up to $5,000 for starting different types of businesses, nevermind provinces and industries, and, you know, export Canada and immigration, Canada, and at our all trying to do all these different things that, so it depends when you say, are there grants for startups?
Yes. There’s lots. It’s just a question of what your. What is the thing that people fail to do? Is it just that they failed to apply or a in time for these things? Or is it just, they don’t understand that money’s a bit.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, I think first and foremost, understanding what’s available is a big one second of full allocating.
The time necessary to submit the grant. Even our businesses submitted grants in different jurisdictions on it. It is time consuming, identifying where you might need a little bit of extra help from somebody outside the businesses is a good one to identify because it makes sure that not only just the grant gets submitted on time.
The grant application is the best application that can be, you know, there are a range of people out there that we work with that can help startups get those larger, more complex bond applications submitted basically gives them the highest chance of success. But yeah, I think understanding what’s out there understanding what you’re eligible for and then making sure that you’ve got the actual time to allocate towards writing the grant and not, not put it on the long finger or, or, or risk to increased.
The Startup Coach: And there’s other ways of getting funding to pitch competitions, working with incubators and accelerator programs to get you moving. So there’s all sorts of different funding available. The question is, you know, start seriously taking it serious and digging in and working with a partner who’s aware of all the different programs.
Speaking of partners.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, of course. I mean, we probably, I think we have 175 or 180 partners, but those take many different facets. Uh, whether it’s those larger banks. Um, I think a program we didn’t actually mention yet is the CSB FL the Canadian small business financing program where there’s businesses looking to invest in hard assets, fit out a location, anything like that.
Up to 350 K available. They’re typically through the, the main big five or six banks and the credit unions distribute that again, we can help you get the application. So that’s something that we help with. Uh, so, so we, we go back to your point of buy partners. We’re partnering with the banks, the credit unions, non-bank lenders equipment, finance providers, e-commerce funders, uh, venture capital funds, angel funds.
Um, and then we have a whole host of other service providers and intermediaries that we work with to try to give business owners the best service possible. Those are accountants, uh, you know, lawyers, brokers. Um, we work with chambers of commerce to bring, serve our service to their members. We work with accountancy firms, so we really do have a very wide, uh, and diverse sort of network of, of, of parts.
The Startup Coach: You really are a one-stop shop when it comes to making sure people have access to all the different types of funding that’s available.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: That’s the mission. That’s the mission. Now
The Startup Coach: you’re making all these partners, what resources and communities do you recommend here in Canada? First people starting up in.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: think there’s, there’s, there’s quite a few good ones to look at, depending again, depending on the type of company you, you are, we mentioned Futurpreneur is a great resource. They’re a subsidiary of BDC. BDC has a lot of different asset classes and, uh, very often BDC is quite helpful that coming in with another lender to, to, to Diplo the gap, if a lender doesn’t want to finance a particular part of the deal, the BDC will come in.
I think from a financing perspective, those are good resources. You mentioned a couple of accelerated programs. They’re super interesting. Communitech is a great one in the water location, kitchen, Waterloo area that we’ve done a bit of work with one 11 in Toronto’s and other accelerator programs. That’s well, we’re checking out.
I think some of your events are fantastic out of the Toronto starts stuff. OPN is another network that we sometimes do a little bit of work out for patients. So there is a really good bustling community and startup ecosystem around Toronto on a ride Montreal as well. So FinTech Hayden’s is another one of our partners that do it, articles stuff like fintechs, the resources are, are really kind of endless that, that right there for startups.
So do you have
The Startup Coach: any, uh, tips for founders just starting out?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah, I think validation, I mean, as. As early as possible to get a version of a product out there and start getting user feedback. I think that’s invaluable, particularly when you’re investing in R and D or a product, obviously, you know, as we’ve talked about funding is key.
So getting ahead of it and try to plot out, you know, the next 12 months, the next 18 months of runway, how you’re going to finance it, how are you going to take the next step? I think that’s, that’s re you know, really good planning to do upfront and yeah, I think. No knowing your customers and developing a really customer centric product, you know, you’ll never go far wrong and
The Startup Coach: what’s next for you?
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: We were still pretty new to Canada. So we have so much growth ahead of us in Canada, and we want to try to help as many businesses as possible. Then I’m really become known as a first point of contact for small business in and to turn to when they need finance. So, uh, we feel like we’ve got a really good service to offer at no real cost to small business owners in Canada.
Um, we, we think. Largely underserved by some of the traditional financial institutions. And they’ve probably been having a bit of a rough ride. The market’s very fragmented. So we want to try to do as much as we can. And Canada we’ve already started serving some us businesses. And I think later on this year, we’ll start to kind of build a team to, to enter the U S market in a more serious fashion.
But for now it’s really just how many businesses can we work with in Canada? How can we get out to the local enterprise teams into the chambers of commerce and really kind of make our service available to as many small businesses as possible. And Canada, we have
The Startup Coach: another question here. Uh, do you help out with fundraising strategies?
I use setting up the right raising targets for the stage plan of business, et cetera.
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: Yeah. Interesting, interesting boundary. We always have the conversation with finders, uh, help them with their pitch deck, help them become investor ready, helps them think about what they want to achieve with their rates.
And the composition may be of equity and debt, but fundamentally we have to also be cognizant of the fact that we’re not an advisor and our service is free to use service, but we are regulated in other markets. And part of that regulation means that we can’t be. Vendors or business owners, commercial financing advice.
We have to be an independent voice. Now that’s something that’s a practice that we take to Canada as well. So we, we, we, we tend to stop short of, you know, giving businesses hard advice on what they should or shouldn’t do when it comes to financing. However, we do have a host of partners that specialize in fundraising strategy and helping businesses to map out what they want to achieve in a capital raise.
So where our high-level. Information session might not go far enough. We’ll we’ll always help a founder find a partner of ours that can help them with whatever they’re trying to achieve when they’re mapping. Yeah, that’s
The Startup Coach: great. Where can people go to find out more about you and swoop Canada? As I
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: said, Switzerland and.com.
You know, our, our, our main website on the website, you can join, create an account. You can reach out to us by phone, which is on the website again, where active on, you know, I think most of the main social media platforms, so swoop funding, Switzerland and Canada, you’ll find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and yeah, I would just encourage you to, to, to reach out and connect with us with any funding query that you might have.
The Startup Coach: If you’re listening on the podcast, all those links will be in the show notes. Just look up the show notes and click on the link that you’re looking for. Really appreciate you taking the time today, Darra to talk about all the different funding options that are available for startups
Daire Burke of Swoop Canada: so much. Craig, I appreciate you having me on
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