4 years ago
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Startup Jargon
Going to your first startup event might seem a bit intimidating. But here are some words to at least keep you in the loop in business socials. 1. VC -- Short for “venture capitalist,” a VC is an institutional investor who offers other people’s money to early-stage, high-potential, growth startups. They then own equity (stock) in the companies they invest in and help them raise more money and manage the business. 2. Angel Investor -- An independent individual who invests his or her own capital in companies. 3. Seed Round -- The first round of funding that helps finance the initial stages of a new venture. A seed round is hopefully followed by an ever bigger Series A round, and not by a down round, which is a round of financing where investors purchase stock at a lower valuation than earlier investors. 4. Valuation -- The amount of money a company is worth. Shall we remind you? Apple’s valuation is $624 billion. Just imagine what you’d do with that dough. 5. Vesting Period -- A period of time an investor holding a right to a company must wait until they are able to fully exercise their rights. Essentially, earned ownership over time. 6. MVP -- Standing for minimum viable product, the strategy was popularized by Eric Ries, who has said the key is to figure out how to learn a lesson with minimum effort and begin to understand the difference between value and waste. 7. Pivot -- The move entrepreneurs make when they decide to significantly change the course of their company. Example: “Instead of selling elementary computer kits, let’s pivot to making our own computers—no assembly required.” That company is now called Apple and is valued at $624 billion. 8. Space -- Referring to a market or industry, and often saved for new emerging segments of a market. Example: “We’re focused on the social commerce space.” 9. Accelerator -- A program designed to accelerate the launch or growth of startups, whether it be through mentorship, workshops, office space or funding. Yes, that’s what you call MassChallenge, TechStars, and Dogpatch Labs. 10. Pre-Money -- The value VCs place on a company’s stock prior to investing. Post-money is then the pre-money valuation plus the amount invested. 11. Burn Rate -- The speed at which a company’s cash balance is going down. Example: “We’re burning $10,000 per month.” 12. Hockey Stick -- Also referred to as an “inflection point,” this refers to a period of rapid growth (in revenue, sales, etc.) that, when graphed, resembles the shape of a hockey stick. 13. Hackathon -- A weekend or day-long competition to create software or hardware products. Or, maybe even stories. 14. Jack Strat -- Defined by our CTO Kevin McCarthy as “discussing strategy.” 15. Crushing It -- How to answer a question about how your company is doing without really answering any questions. “Oh, we’re crushing it.” Be aware that usually means they’re not. Unless you run into Sliggity who often says he’s “crushing content.” That’s legitimate. 16. Disruptive -- Also known as “game-changing.” The person who calls their company “disruptive” should take Jack Dorsey’s advice: “Disruption is confusing. Disruption has no leadership, values or direction.” He suggests starting a “revolution” instead. 17. “We’re the X for X” -- When people describe their under-the-radar startup to a bigger brand, because they don’t know how else to define, or would rather confine, themselves. Example: “We’re the Facebook for your household pets” or the “LinkedIn for Sesame Street characters.” 18. Hustler -- Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how to define this kind of person, but why not just refrain from self-identifying yourself as one? What words did we miss? Let us know in the comments! Via Lauren Landry
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