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What The Tech: Episode 2 “Focus on Innovation” with Patrick Proulx of Knak

What The Tech: Episode 2 “Focus on Innovation” with Patrick Proulx of Knak
on June 13, 2023
What The Tech: Episode 2 “Focus on Innovation” with Patrick Proulx of Knak

Before partnering with Boast AI, Patrick Proulx, CTO and CO-Founder of Knak, viewed the SR&ED application process as a time suck that simply didn’t pay off.

“When we first did SR&ED—and Knak was a lot smaller—we worked with one of the big tax providers and thought we were getting back maybe $20,000-$30,000,” Proulx explains. “But then we got audited, and after spending many hours working with that provider to defend our claim, we ended up getting nothing back.”
Understandably, this put a bad taste in the Knak team’s mouth about the whole SR&ED process. 

“I knew we probably had some activities that for sure were SR&ED-able, but the whole process gave our team a little bit of PTSD,” Proulx explained, as their unsuccessful initial SR&ED application called for many hours of his and his engineers’ time to execute. 

But as Knak evolved from a template-based email solution to a full-fledged Demand Generation toolkit for enterprises, Patrick knew that his team was working on significant innovation that had to qualify for government funding. 

So Patrick did the logical thing, and partnered with a new accountant for the next go-round at recouping Knak’s R&D costs through tax credits. But the nightmare of spending hours struggling just to get the Knak team and the accountant on the same page remained. 

“We did maybe 10 hours of calls with them trying to explain what Knak did and what our engineers were doing, and I think maybe half—at least 5 hours or so—of those calls were just repeating,” Proulx says of his experience acclimating his old accountants to Knak’s situation.

Then Patrick got wind of Boast AI.

“In about a half hour of talking with one of the engineers at Boast, I knew they had a better idea of what Knak does than those eight hours I had already spent onboarding with our accountant,” Proulx explains. 

His experience just meeting with the Boast AI team was proof enough that he was dealing with a team who shared his founder mindset, and could speak the same language his engineers did. 

Best of all, he knew he wouldn’t be spending hours of his own time—let alone pulling in his engineering team—creating a SR&ED application that delivers, or defending his claim should it  be audited. 

Check out the full story and learn more about how Knak is changing the game when it comes to email marketing in this episode of What The Tech from Boast AI.

Watch this interview and other conversations with innovative founders on Boast’s YouTube Channel.

About: What The Tech: Episode 2 “Focus on Innovation” with Patrick Proulx of Knak

At both the federal and provincial level, Canada provides a wealth of innovation funding in the form of tax credits and grants that offer founders non-dilutive capital to fuel their runway. 

Our guide unpacks the most popular government-backed funding programs and how you can start tapping into them to grow your business.


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