Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - QSEP

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-Changes in blue
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Item 1A. Risk Factors

We have a history of losses, and we cannot assure you that we will ever become or remain profitable. As a result, you may lose your entire investment.

We generated insignificant revenues from operations in late 2006 and subsequently did not generate any revenues until 2014 and we have incurred recurring net losses every year since our inception in 1998. For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, we had net losses of $1,224,000 and $1,548,000 respectively. To date, we have dedicated most of our financial resources to research and development, general and administrative expenses and initial sales and marketing activities. We have funded all of our activities through sales of our debt and equity securities for cash. We anticipate net losses and negative cash flow to continue until such time as our products are brought to market in sufficient amounts to offset operating losses. Our ability to achieve profitability is dependent upon our continuing research and development, product development, and sales and marketing efforts, to deliver viable products and the Company’s ability to successfully bring them to market. Although our management is optimistic that we will succeed in marketing products incorporating our technologies, there can be no assurance that we will ever generate significant revenues or that any revenues that may be generated will be sufficient for us to become profitable or thereafter maintain profitability. If we cannot generate sufficient revenues or become or remain profitable, we may have to cease our operations and liquidate our business.

Our independent registered public accounting firm has expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, which may hinder our ability to obtain future financing.

During the year ended December 31, 2023, we incurred a net loss of $1,224,000 and used cash in operations of $629,000 and had a stockholders’ deficit of $5,244,000 as of December 31, 2023. These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year of the date that its financial statements are issued. As a result, our independent registered public accounting firm included an explanatory paragraph in its report on our financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2023, with respect to this uncertainty. This going concern opinion could materially limit our ability to raise additional funds through the issuance of new debt or equity securities and subsequent reports by our independent registered public accounting firm on our financial statements may also include an explanatory paragraph with respect to our ability to continue as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern is subject to our ability to obtain significant additional capital to fund our operations and to generate revenue from sales, of which there is no assurance. Our ability to continue as a going concern is an issue raised as a result of our recurring net losses and accumulated deficit from operations since inception. If we fail to raise sufficient capital, we may have to liquidate our business and you may lose your investment.

Since we have not yet begun to generate positive cash flow from operations, our ability to continue operations is dependent on our ability to either begin to generate positive cash flow from operations or our ability to raise capital from outside sources.

We have not generated cash flow from operations since our inception in February 1998 and have relied on external sources of capital to fund operations. We had $70,000 in cash at December 31, 2023 and used cash in operations of $629,000 for the year ended December 31, 2023.

We currently do not have credit facilities available with financial institutions or other third parties, and historically have relied upon best efforts third-party funding. Though we have been successful at raising capital on a best-efforts basis in the past, we can provide no assurance that we will be successful in any future best-efforts financing endeavors. We will need to continue to rely upon financing from external sources to fund our operations for the foreseeable future. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital from external sources to fund our operations, we may need to curtail operations.

17

We will need substantial additional capital to meet our operating needs, and we cannot be sure that additional financing will be available.

During fiscal 2023, our cash burn rate amounted to approximately $53,000 per month and could increase during the remainder of fiscal 2024. In order to fund our capital needs, we conducted private offerings of our securities in 2022 and 2023. While discussion regarding additional interim and permanent financings are being actively conducted, management cannot predict with certainty that an equity line of credit will be available to provide adequate funds, or any funds at all, or whether any additional interim or permanent financings will be available at all or, if it is available, if it will be available on favorable terms. If we cannot obtain needed capital, our research and development, and sales and marketing plans, business and financial condition and our ability to reduce losses and generate profits will be materially and adversely affected.

Our business prospects are difficult to predict because of our limited operating history, early stage of development and unproven business strategy. Since our incorporation in 1998, we have been and continue to be involved in development of products using our technology, establishing manufacturing and marketing of these products to consumers and industry partners. Although we believe our technology and products in development have significant profit potential, we may not attain profitable operations and our management may not succeed in realizing our business objectives.

If we are not able to devote adequate resources to product development and commercialization, we may not be able to develop our products.

Our business strategy is to develop, manufacture and market products incorporating our AOT technology. We believe that our revenue growth and profitability, if any, will substantially depend upon our ability to raise additional necessary capital for research and development, complete development of our products in development and successfully introduce and commercialize our products.

If we are not able to devote adequate resources to product development and commercialization, we may not be able to develop our products.

Our business strategy is to develop, manufacture and market products incorporating our AOT technology. We believe that our revenue growth and profitability, if any, will substantially depend upon our ability to raise additional necessary capital for research and development, complete development of our products in development and successfully introduce and commercialize our products.

Certain of our products are still under various stages of development. Because we have limited resources to devote to product development and commercialization, any delay in the development of one product or reallocation of resources to product development efforts that prove unsuccessful may delay or jeopardize the development of other product candidates. Although our management believes that it may finance our product development through private placements and other capital sources, if we do not develop new products and bring them to market, our ability to generate revenues will be adversely affected.

The commercial viability of QS Energy’s technologies remains largely unproven and we may not be able to attract customers.

Despite the fact that we leased AOT equipment in 2014 to a major oil pipeline operator and tested the equipment on their high-volume pipeline under normal operating conditions, entered into a lease agreement with a second major oil pipeline operator to operate and test AOT equipment in 2015, and have initiated a project to demonstrate our AOT technology on a commercial pipeline in 2019, the commercial viability of our devices is not known at this time. If commercial opportunities are not realized from the use of products incorporating the AOT technology, our ability to generate revenue would be adversely affected. There can be no assurances that we will be successful in marketing our products, or that customers will ultimately purchase our products. Failure to have commercial success from the sale of our products will significantly and negatively impact our financial condition. There can be no assurances that we will be successful in marketing our products, or that customers will ultimately purchase our products. Failure to have commercial success from the sale of our products will significantly and negatively impact our financial condition.

18

If our products and services do not gain market acceptance, it is unlikely that we will become profitable and it is unlikely that we will be able to stay in business.

At this time, our technology is commercially unproven, and the use of our technology by others is limited. Specific examples of use to date include:

The commercial success of our products will depend upon the adoption of our technology by the oil industry. Market acceptance will depend on many factors, including:

· the willingness and ability of consumers and industry partners to adopt new technologies;

· our ability to convince potential industry partners and consumers that our technology is an attractive alternative to other technologies;

· our ability to manufacture products and provide services in sufficient quantities with acceptable quality and at an acceptable cost; and,

· our ability to place and service sufficient quantities of our products.

If our products do not achieve a significant level of market acceptance, demand for our products will not develop as expected and it is unlikely that we will become profitable, and unlikely that we will be able to stay in business.

We outsource and rely on third parties for the manufacture of our products.

Our business model calls for the outsourcing of the manufacture of our products in order to reduce our capital and infrastructure costs, capital expenditure and personnel. Accordingly, we must enter into agreements with other companies that can assist us and provide certain capabilities that we do not possess, and to increase our manufacturing capacity as necessary. We can provide no assurances that any such outsourcing will be at commercially acceptable rates or profitable. Moreover, we do not have the required financial and human resources or capability to manufacture, market and sell our products. Our business model calls for the outsourcing of the manufacture, and sales and marketing of our products in order to reduce our capital and infrastructure costs as a means of potentially improving our financial position and the profitability of our business. Accordingly, we must enter into agreements with other companies that can assist us and provide certain capabilities that we do not possess. We may not be successful in entering into additional such alliances on favorable terms or at all. Furthermore, any delay in entering into agreements could delay the development and commercialization of our products and reduce their competitiveness even if they reach the market. Any such delay related to our existing or future agreements could adversely affect our business.

19

If any party to which we have outsourced certain functions fails to perform its obligations under agreements with us, the development and commercialization of our products could be delayed or curtailed.

To the extent that we rely on other companies to manufacture, sell or market our products, we will be dependent on the timeliness and effectiveness of their efforts. If any of these parties do not perform its obligations in a timely and effective manner, the commercialization of our products could be delayed or curtailed because we may not have sufficient financial resources or capabilities to continue such development and commercialization on our own.

Any revenues that we may earn in the future are unpredictable, and our operating results are likely to fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

We believe that our future operating results will fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including delays in product development, market acceptance of our new products, changes in the demand for and pricing of our products, competition and pricing pressure from competitive products, manufacturing delays and expenses related to and the results of proceedings relating to our intellectual property.

A large portion of our expenses, including expenses for our facilities, equipment and personnel, is relatively fixed and not subject to further significant reduction. In addition, we expect our operating expenses will increase in the future as we continue our commercialization efforts and increase our production and marketing activities, among other activities. Although we expect to generate revenues from sales of our products, revenues may decline or not grow as anticipated and our operating results could be substantially harmed for a particular fiscal period. Moreover, our operating results in some quarters may not meet the expectations of stock market analysts and investors. In that case, our stock price most likely would decline.

Nondisclosure agreements with employees and others may not adequately prevent disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information.

In order to protect our proprietary technology and processes, we rely in part on nondisclosure agreements with our employees, licensing partners, customers, consultants, agents and other organizations to which we disclose our proprietary information. These agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover trade secrets and proprietary information, and in such cases, we could not assert any trade secret rights against such parties. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection could adversely affect our competitive business position. Since we rely on trade secrets and nondisclosure agreements, in addition to patents, to protect some of our intellectual property, there is a risk that third parties may obtain and improperly utilize our proprietary information to our competitive disadvantage. We may not be able to detect unauthorized use or take appropriate and timely steps to enforce our intellectual property rights.

The manufacture, use or sale of our current and proposed products may infringe on the patent rights of others, and we may be forced to litigate if an intellectual property dispute arises.

We have taken measures to protect ourselves from infringing on the patent rights of others; however, if we infringe or are alleged to have infringed another party’s patent rights, we may be required to seek a license, defend an infringement action or challenge the validity of the patents in court. Patent litigation is costly and time consuming. We may not have sufficient resources to bring these actions to a successful conclusion. In addition, if we do not obtain a license, do not successfully defend an infringement action or are unable to have infringed patents declared invalid, we may incur substantial monetary damages ,encounter significant delays in marketing our current and proposed product candidates, be unable to conduct or participate in the manufacture, use or sale of product, candidates or methods of treatment requiring licenses, lose patent protection for our inventions and products; or find our patents are unenforceable, invalid, or have a reduced scope of protection.

Parties making such claims may be able to obtain injunctive relief that could effectively block our ability to further develop or commercialize our current and proposed product candidates in the United States and abroad and could result in the award of substantial damages. Defense of any lawsuit or failure to obtain any such license could substantially harm the company. Litigation, regardless of outcome, could result in substantial cost to and a diversion of efforts by the Company to operate its business.

20

We may face costly intellectual property/ license agreements disputes.

Our ability to compete effectively will depend in part on our ability to develop and maintain proprietary aspects of our technologies and either to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of others or to obtain rights to technology owned by third parties. Our pending patent applications, specifically patent rights of the AOT technology and Joule Heating process may not result in the issuance of any patents or any issued patents that will offer protection against competitors with similar technology. Patents we have licensed for our technologies, and which we may receive, may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented in the future or the rights created by those patents may not provide a competitive advantage. We also rely on trade secrets, technical know-how and continuing invention to develop and maintain our competitive position. Others may independently develop substantially equivalent proprietary information and techniques or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets. See Note 6 of our financial statements attached hereto for a discussion and status of our license agreements with Temple University.

Changes in governmental regulations and policies may affect export of our technologies.

The Company recognizes domestic and foreign governmental actions, including but not limited to trade restrictions and tariffs, may adversely affect our ability to export our technologies, or may adversely affect the economics of cross-border transactions.

We may not be able to attract or retain qualified senior personnel.

We believe we are currently able to manage our current business with our existing management team. However, as we expand the scope of our operations, we will need to obtain the full-time services of additional senior management and other personnel. Competition for highly skilled personnel is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to attract or retain qualified senior personnel. Our failure to do so could have an adverse effect on our ability to implement our business plan. As we add full-time senior personnel, our overhead expenses for salaries and related items will increase compensation packages, these increases could be substantial.

If we lose our key personnel or are unable to attract and retain additional personnel, we may be unable to achieve profitability.

Our future success is substantially dependent on the efforts of our senior management. The loss of the services of members of our senior management may significantly delay or prevent the achievement of product development and other business objectives. Because of the scientific nature of our business, we depend substantially on our ability to attract and retain qualified marketing, scientific and technical personnel, including consultants. There is intense competition among specialized automotive companies for qualified personnel in the areas of our activities. If we lose the services of, or do not successfully recruit key marketing, scientific and technical personnel, the growth of our business could be substantially impaired. We do not maintain key man insurance for any of these individuals.

Currently, there is only very limited trading in our stock, so you may be unable to sell your shares at or near the quoted bid prices if you need to sell your shares.

The shares of our common stock are thinly traded on the OTC Bulletin Board (pink sheets), meaning that the number of persons interested in purchasing our common shares at or near bid prices at any given time may be relatively small or non-existent. This situation is attributable to a number of factors, including the fact that we are a small company engaged in a high-risk business which is relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that can generate or influence daily trading volume and valuation. Should we even come to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and would be reluctant to follow an unproven, early stage company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we became more seasoned and viable. As a consequence, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal or non-existent, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous trading without negatively impacting share price. We cannot provide any assurance that a broader or more active public trading market for shares of our common stock will develop or be sustained. Due to these conditions, we cannot give any assurance that shareholders will be able to sell their shares at or near bid prices or at all.

21

The market price of our stock is volatile.

The market price for our common stock has been volatile during the last year, ranging from a closing price of $0.03 on December 31, 2023 to a closing price of $0.15 on January 24, 2023, and a closing price of $0.06 on March 28, 2024. See Part II, item 5, below. Additionally, the price of our stock has been both higher and lower than those amounts on an intra-day basis in the last year. Because our stock is thinly traded, its price can change dramatically over short periods, even in a single day. The market price of our common stock could fluctuate widely in response to many factors, including, developments with respect to patents or proprietary rights, announcements of technological innovations by us or our competitors, announcements of new products or new contracts by us or our competitors, actual or anticipated variations in our operating results due to the level of development expenses and other factors, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts and whether any future earnings of ours meet or exceed such estimates, conditions and trends in our industry, new accounting standards, general economic, political and market conditions and other factors.

Substantial sales of common stock could cause our stock price to fall.

In the past year, there have been times when average daily trading volume of our common stock has been extremely low, and there have been many days in which no shares were traded at all. At other times, the average daily trading volume of our common stock has been high. Nevertheless, the possibility that substantial amounts of common stock may be sold in the public market may adversely affect prevailing market prices for our common stock and could impair a shareholder’s ability to sell our stock or our ability to raise capital through the sale of our equity securities.

Potential issuance of additional shares of our common stock could dilute existing stockholders.

We are authorized to issue up to 500,000,000 shares of common stock and up to 100,000,000 of preferred stock. To the extent of such authorization, our Board of Directors has the ability, without seeking stockholder approval, to issue additional shares of common stock or preferred stock in the future for such consideration as the Board of Directors may consider sufficient. The issuance of additional common stock or preferred stock in the future may reduce the proportionate ownership and voting power of shareholders.

We may not be successful in identifying, making, financing and integrating acquisitions.

A component of our business strategy is to make selective acquisitions that will strengthen our core services or presence in selected markets. The success of this strategy will depend, among other things, on our ability to identify suitable acquisition candidates, to obtain acceptable financing, to timely and successfully integrate acquired businesses or assets and to retain the key personnel and the customer base of acquired businesses. Any future acquisitions could present a number of risks, including but not limited to:

· incorrect assumptions regarding the future results of acquired operations or assets or expected cost reductions or other synergies expected to be realized as a result of acquiring operations or assets;

· failure to integrate successfully the operations or management of any acquired operations or assets in a timely manner;

· failure to retain or attract key employees; and

· diversion of management’s attention from existing operations or other priorities.

If we are unable to identify, make and successfully integrate acquired businesses, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

22

Our common stock is subject to penny stock regulation, which may make it more difficult for us to raise capital.

Our common stock is considered penny stock under SEC regulations. It is subject to rules that impose additional sales practice requirements on broker-dealers who sell our securities. For example, broker-dealers must make a suitability determination for the purchaser, receive the purchaser’s written consent to the transaction prior to sale, and make special disclosures regarding sales commissions, current stock price quotations, recent price information and information on the limited market in penny stock. Because of these additional obligations, some broker-dealers may not affect transactions in penny stocks, which may adversely affect the liquidity of our common stock and shareholders’ ability to sell our common stock in the secondary market. This lack of liquidity may make it difficult for us to raise capital in the future.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 1C. Cybersecurity

None.

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