Working with start-ups - The 2017 Queensland Tax Forum

Brian Ruddle
Australia is creating a huge start-up ecosystem that needs help to grow and survive. Initiatives like Advance Queensland are helping to make Queensland a destination for collaboration between entrepreneurs, industry, and government to turn ideas into products and businesses that drive employment. 

Knowing how start-ups are formed, how they grow and why they fail is critical. Advisers to these businesses need to understand the complexity around this sector of the market.

Two sessions at the 2017 Queensland Tax Forum will address the issues facing start-ups and the practitioners that advise them. Brian Ruddle (Impact Innovation Group) will present on ‘Practical approaches to working with start-ups’, followed by PwC’s Dragan Misic CTA on ‘Approach to capital raising – tax perspective’.

Looking at what to do when a start-up comes through an adviser’s door, Brian will cover the issues that arise in dealing with founders, the technical challenges, and how advisers can assist in creating better business models. As founder and Managing Director of the Impact Innovation Group, a specialist innovation and technology commercialisation firm, Brian has established and implemented innovation programs for SMEs to multinationals and has formed a number of start-up companies. 

We spoke with Brian about what to expect at the Forum. 


“My presentation focuses on helping delegates provide better services to start-up companies – in particular, understanding exactly how start-ups differ from more established companies and how advisers can increase the value of their services to this type of client”, he told us.

“The presentation will focus on areas where advisers can enhance their service delivery to start-ups, including around governance and management, replacing assumptions with facts, establishing effective business models, supporting founders and highlighting a range of ‘red flags’ they should watch out for.”

Immediately following Brian’s presentation, Dragan Misic CTA will look at funding for SMEs, whether at the start-up or the expansion phase, in his session ‘Approach to capital raising – tax perspective’.

Securing funding is often critical to the success of an SME but, in recent years, the way SMEs seek funding has changed. With government amendments to existing tax rules and specific tax concessions to assist SMEs in place, this can create a confusing landscape for businesses and their advisers. Dragan’s session will look at the issues around crowdfunding, the tax incentives for early-stage investors, and venture capital entities. It will also provide a recap of traditional funding options and current trends.

Find out more about these sessions and the rest of the program on our website. The Queensland Tax Forum takes place on 24-25 August 2017 in Brisbane.

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