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A guide to 20 popular Startup buzzwords

If you’re new to the startup ecosystem, you’ll undoubtedly encounter a variety of esoteric jargon. Words such as ‘bootstrap’ and ‘unicorn’ come up all the time, but their meaning can be something of a mystery. Not to worry: we have put together a guide for some popular buzzwords doing the rounds in 2019. Check it out below.

An accelerator, also sometimes called an incubator, is a support network that helps a startup to grow faster by providing expertise, access to labour and capital and, sometimes, physical premises to experiment with new products.

Bleeding Edge
One of the more graphic-sounding terms in this guide, a firm on the bleeding edge is one that is right at the forefront of technology or a new way of thinking.

A situation in which an entrepreneur creates a profitable business and then uses the money to grow the business further, rather than relying on outside capital.

Burn Rate
The amount of money that a company spends per unit of time. Right now, Tesla’s burn rate is high because it has to spend a lot of cash to expand production of its factories rapidly.

Cottage Business
A small scale business that is doing something on a relatively small scale. For instance, a small group of people selling craft goods on Etsy.

Digital Nomad
A person who travels the globe working from their laptop.

Exit Strategy
A firm’s exit strategy is its plan to leave a particular market or sector without incurring substantial debt or wiping out shareholder equity. Exit plans are important because market opportunities don’t last forever.

Lean Startup
A startup which tries to develop a profitable business model with minimal capital input. Entrepreneurs are keen on finding lean startup opportunities to reduce their exposure to debt. Software companies are good examples of lean startups: often, all that’s required is a team of professional coders with laptops.

Taking a product that you already have, accepting that it’s junk, and then doing something to improve on it.

Low Hanging Fruit
Doing the obvious stuff that will get cash through the door. Startups often have ambitious plans, but most have to start adding value wherever they can.

Minimum Viable Product
The least developed product that your customers will accept. Investors often pressure startups to release a minimum viable product to bring in money first and then use the proceeds to improve future generations of the product.

The process of transitioning from a money-making strategy that doesn’t work to one that you hope will.

Ramen Profitable
A description of a business that is profitable enough to provide its owners with enough money for ramen dinners, but not generating enough cash to allow them to live the high life.

The time that a company has left before the money runs out and the lights get switched off. Entrepreneurs usually use the term runway to describe how much longer they can keep going on their existing pile of capital.

SaaS is an acronym for software-as-a-service. SaaS includes free apps like Google Docs or paid services, such as business messaging app Slack. You have to pay a monthly subscription to use most SaaS products.

Scale Up
Startups use the term scaling up to describe the process of replicating their current business small-scale model across a large number of customers, geographies, or sectors.

Seed Funding
Seed funding is the money given to a company to help it grow, usually from scratch. Seed money typically comes from friends, family members, or an outside investor. Companies use seed money to buy all of the tools and resources that they need to build a product.

Stealth Mode
A startup is said to be in “stealth mode” when it is developing a product in secret. The purpose of this is usually to protect or build intellectual property or enter the market without warning to surprise the competition.

A company that goes from a valuation of zero to over $1 billion in just a couple of years. Unicorns are so-called because of their extreme rarity. Notable unicorns include Uber and Airbnb.

VC stands for venture capitalist. Venture capitalists are people who invest in startups to help them scale once they’ve got a proven track record. A VC, for instance, might put money into a social network once the founders have built a small community and a compelling product.

Hope these buzz words help you through your journey – please feel free to contact me on minesh@hybrid-marketing.co.uk to support you with your marketing challenges.