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Hear the latest from BioKansas, BioKansas members and community leaders on topics relevant to the industry and the region!

 

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The R&D Tax Credit - A First Time Opportunity for Early Stage Companies

Posted By Dennis Ridenour, Monday, September 18, 2017

Earlier this year, we here at BioKansas heard about a change to the R&D Tax Credit that could have a significant impact on the finances of many of our smallest and most innovative members.  You see, until recently, the R&D tax credit could only be used to offset income tax.  Therefore, even though many start-up and early stage companies were eligible for the credit, they could not take advantage of it because they did not pay income taxes.  As of the 2016 tax year, eligible start-up companies can use the credit to offset up to $250,000 per year in payroll taxes.  

Because of this significant change, BioKansas is teaming up with RubinBrown to host a Lunch & Learn focused on educating our members on the awesome opportunity the changes to the R&D Tax Credit present.  We hope you'll join us next Thursday, September 28th, from 11:30 am to 1 pm for free lunch, a breakdown of the opportunity and how to go about making sure your company is taking advantage of credit.  

In the meantime, here's a short synopsis of the credit, courtesy of RubinBrowns' own Richard Wile:
"On March 30, 2017, the IRS released interim guidance explaining how eligible small businesses can take advantage of the Research & Experimentation (R&E or R&D) tax credit by electing to offset their 2017 payroll tax liability instead of their income tax liability. Previously, the R&E tax credit could only be used to offset income tax liability. This prevented many startup companies from taking advantage of the R&E tax credit since they are often in a pre-revenue or early stage revenue phase and paying little or no income tax.
The R&E tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of tax. The net benefit of the credit is approximately 6% of qualified expenditures coming from qualified wages, supplies and contract research. The payroll tax credit is claimed on the 941 payroll tax return filed on the quarter following that in which the corporate return was filed. Excess credits can be carried forward to subsequent reporting periods.
If a qualified small business timely files its 2016 return without making the payroll tax credit election, it may make the election on an amended return filed on or before December 31, 2017."

Come out and JOIN US next Thursday, September 28th, from 11:30 am to 1 pm to hear more about the changes and how your company might benefit.  
-Dennis Ridenour, CEO of BioKansas

 

Tags:  Education  Entrepreneurship  R&D Tax Credit  Tax 

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Topeka Science and Technology Park Task Force

Posted By BioKansas & GoTopeka, Monday, August 14, 2017
The BioKansas network stretches across the region, from St. Louis to western Kansas.  While a majority of our members are located in the Kansas City metropolitan region, one of the most interesting aspects of our role in the community is hearing about (and spreading the word about) all of the great initiatives and programs being developed in communities outside of KC.  One such community is Topeka, which boasts of major life science and healthcare organizations (Hill's Pet Nutrition and Stormont Vail Health, among others), and a number of active and engaged community leaders.  These leaders, along with community groups like GOTopeka and the Topeka Chamber of Commerce, recognize the opportunity for the city and are coming together to raise awareness of the opportunities in animal health, workforce development and entrepreneurship.  We hope you'll join us in Topeka on Thursday at the Q3 BioKansas Board Meeting & Networking Reception, where you'll have a chance to hear from these community leaders on the local efforts to raise the profile of Topeka through a number of initiatives.  You can register online for free HERE.  
-Dennis Ridenour, President & CEO, BioKansas

Given the ever-expanding Animal Health Corridor, the development and expansion of the Kansas State University north campus (adjacent to NBAF facility), along with the development of the University of Kansas west campus, there is an obvious gap (Topeka) in the expansion and growth of the corridor from Kansas City to Manhattan.

A group of business and community leaders, along with the Topeka Chamber of Commerce, have begun the process of determining how Topeka can/should participate in the continued and future growth of the Animal Health Corridor along with emerging opportunities in AgTech and Translational Health in the region. To that end:

  • A Task Force has been formed
  • Visits to proximate communities in the Corridor and adjacent communities to access and understand the economic benefit of an entrepreneurial incubator environment
  • Have hired a consulting firm to do a feasibility study and development plan to determine
  • Areas of opportunity
  • Resources required (financial, city, county, private sector)
  • Location options (possibly in conjunction with a broader re-development initiative)

While the precise nature of the opportunities and focus are still to be determined (i.e. Fintech, AgTech, logistics, etc.), it seems abundantly clear that the biosciences should/will be an area of focus.

In conjunction with the efforts of the Science and Technology Task Force, an Entrepreneurial Task Force (ETF - similar to Wichita) has also been formed and has begun to map the local resources available for start-up efforts.

Additionally, Mid-America Angels has opened a satellite effort in Topeka, and a small seed fund also has been established to begin to lay the foundation for the necessary early capital critical for attracting and retaining entrepreneurial efforts.

While still in the early stages of exploration and determination, there is a great deal of energy around this initiative.

-Duane Cantrell, CEO, Fulcrum Global Capital and Co-Chair of the Topeka Science and Technology Park Task Force

 

Tags:  Connect  Education  Entrepreneurship  Workforce Development 

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Building a Better Benefits Package

Posted By Connie Jabara, Employee Benefit Professionals, Monday, July 31, 2017

BioKansas members are a very diverse assortment of organizations from across the region, from single person startups all the way to enterprise size multinationals.  One of the primary roles we play within the community is to facilitate connections between relevant industry groups.  This may include connecting organizations to 1) potential future employees 2) potential collaborators 3) potential funding sources or even to 4) knowledgeable and effective service providers who can help our members navigate certain aspects of their businesses.  This Thursday, we are hosting one of these providers, Employee Benefit Professionals, for a Lunch & Learn on how to develop a benefits package that can help you recruit (and retain) productive employees.  We hope you’ll consider joining us for lunch and a great presentation on the ever-changing world of employee benefits. 
-From Dennis Ridenour, CEO of BioKansas


As a business owner, you know that your employees are crucial to your success.  You appreciate your employees and the work they do for you.  When people feel appreciated they are happier, and happy employees tend to be productive employees.  As a business owner, you also understand the effort, stress, time and money that goes into finding, hiring and training a new employee.  What if you could offer benefits that show your employees how valuable they are to your organization and how much you appreciate their hard work, thereby reducing employee turnover and increasing employee satisfaction? 

It is estimated that 78% of employees base their job decision on the benefits package. At Employee Benefit Professionals, we help you build a benefits package that not only helps you recruit new talent, but keep the talent you have happy and healthy!  In addition to health insurance, dental and vision, you can also offer other benefits similar to large corporations without breaking your bank account.  Benefits such as life insurance, legal protection, critical illness, accident insurance, and even pet insurance can be offered at no cost to you!

Join us for an interactive presentation on August 3rd to learn about how we help our clients build custom benefit packages unique to their business’ and their employees’ needs!  We can work with companies who have 1 employee or 1000 employees.  You provide the awesome career, we will help you discover benefits that will help you keep your employees happy, healthy and productive!  Click HERE for more information and to register.
-From Connie Jabara, Independent Life and Health Insurance Broker at Employee Benefit Professionals

Tags:  Benefits  Connect  Education 

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MATC Critical Environment Technologies

Posted By Barb Wenger, MATC Director of Bioscience, Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Note from BioKansas: One of our primary functions at BioKansas is to act as a connector between industry and education.  To this end, we work to align the curriculum of our educators with the evolving needs of our members.  There are many efforts across the region to teach, adequately train and develop the future workforce for our industry, but most of those programs are focused on training the scientists or technicians.  We think MATC has identified a true area of need with their training and certification programs outlined below, which target those whose job it is to service and maintain the laboratories, clean rooms and other critical facilities of our members.  We think this is a great example of surveying industry, identifying a talent gap, and then quickly developing a program to address that gap.  For more information on this program or how it was developed in conjunction with industry input, please contact Barb Wenger, MATC Director of Bioscience, who contributed the piece below.  


Since 2016, Manhattan Area Technical College (MATC) has been working to create a flexible Biohazardous Risk Reduction training for non-science workers in high containment environments. As the future National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) campus and the Animal Health Corridor bring more biotechnology companies to the Kansas-Missouri area, the need for construction and mechanical workers for these high containment facilities is growing. At the same time, the highly specialized environments necessary for biohazardous work create an inevitable gap in industry safety procedures designed to address a wider range of buildings. Thus, increased employment opportunities bring with them a growing need for risk reduction and safety training for high containment personnel. As a recipient of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s NBAF Think & Do Challenge, MATC has designed a Biohazardous Risk Reduction training option to provide safety skills training for Operations & Maintenance technicians, contractors, and others who work in and around critical environments. The goal of this training is to minimize workers’ exposure to occupational injuries and deadly pathogens by developing safety skills and raising awareness of potential hazards.

“From the beginning it has been our intent to make certain we understand the needs and standards of NBAF so that we can offer training within their required guidelines,” said Barbara Wenger, MATC Director of Bioscience.

MATC recently piloted two successful Biohazardous Risk Reduction Training sessions and hopes to begin offering the course to the public on a regular and recurring basis.

The next step for MATC is to develop its Critical Environments Facility Technician training program. This program, built on an HVAC foundation will enable current facility technicians to use their trade skills within critical environments such as cleanrooms, data centers as well as BSL3-BSL4 facilities. “MATC has been a terrific partner to NBAF. Their work is helping us lean in to important operational planning”, said NBAF Operational Planning Manager, Timothy Burke.

 “We recognized early on that there will be a host of partners in academia, private industry, and beyond who support NBAF. This further motivated us to develop the most relevant and impactful training possible,” said Wenger.

For more information on MATC’s Biohazardous Risk Reduction program or their Critical Environments Facility Technician training program, please contact Barb Wenger or visit http://www.manhattantech.edu/cet/critical-environment-technologies.   

Tags:  Education  Training  Workforce Development 

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