Your Quick Guide to Startup Terminology

Your Quick Guide to Startup Terminology

Simon Jenner

Thursday, 5 November 2020

In order to fit in with the most successful startup founders, you need to be able to speak like them. Learn these terms to start conversing like a pro.

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Aside from the fun of building your MVP and bringing your Big Idea to life, there is a lot of networking associated with being an entrepreneur.
From elevator pitches to formal investor pitches, you’re expected to be on the top of your game and converse in a world of startup lingo and technical colloquialisms.
The seemingly-infinite amount of terms and abbreviations can be a bit intimidating when you’re a brand new founder trying to get your bearings. To help you navigate this new world, we’ve created a quick guide to the startup terminology you need to know to converse with the best of them.

Accelerator: In regards to a startup, accelerators are programs where startup founders can seek mentorship and further their startup education. These will often end with a final pitch once the founder’s time with the accelerator has come to an end, as our No-Code Bootcamp does.
Accredited Investor: Accredited Investors are wealthy individuals who may hold an interest in investing in your company. 
Bootstrapping: Bootstrapping is a term you will encounter quite often in the startup world. Bootstrapping refers to when a founder builds their startup with solely personal savings and no external capital. The growth of no-code is making bootstrapping more and more achievable as it decreases costs associated with startups.
Bubble: A bubble in the economic world occurs when an industry’s market value grows incredibly quickly, and usually results in a crash due to overinflation. 
Burn Rate: A burn rate refers to how quickly a founder or entrepreneur spends their financial assets prior to making any sales.
Churn Rate: A churn rate is the rate at which customers abandon a startup.
Cottage Business: Cottage businesses are relatively small, low-maintenance businesses that require very little to no capital to start up.
Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding will often include your startup’s early adopters, as individuals donate money towards the launch of the company. This may happen as soon as you’ve finished building your MVP.
Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing occurs when free information is gathered digitally, often through surveys.
Disruptive Technology: In our ever-changing digital world, we see disruptive technology quite often. Disruptive technology enters an industry as an innovation and then convinces consumers to think differently about the industry. This results in consumers adopting the technology as a new standard. No-code is becoming a strong disruptive technology in the tech startup world.
Early Adopters: An early adopter is your first customer. Once you build your MVP, you will likely test it among this group of individuals.
Exit Strategy: Every startup founder needs a good exit strategy, even before the MVP build begins. Your exit strategy is your plan to sell your company once it has made a significant profit, resulting in an ROI (Return on Investment) for both yourself and your investors. Among tech startups, the average ROI of an exit strategy is around 10x the original investment.
First Mover Advantage (FMA): The first mover advantage is held by the first major occupant of a market. This is not always the first entrant to the market, but the first to be significantly successful.
Growth Hacking: Growth hacking occurs in the early stages of a startup and focuses on growing that startup incredibly quickly. In the current digital landscape, a social media strategy can be key to achieving this.
Lean Startup: Lean startups are focused around a shorter product MVP development cycle in order to determine if their business model is viable. Eric Ries has determined the traditional Lean Startup Cycle as a process of Build-Measure-Learn.
Loss Leader Pricing: Loss Leader Pricing enables you to quickly gain market share by intentionally pricing your offerings low, resulting in repeat business from customers.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP): The MVP arose from Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Cycle. An MVP app is developed just to the point that it has representative features for test users, but is not as complete as the final product. No-Code MVP platforms help you to build your MVP without code, speeding up the process further.
Pivot: You might need to pivot, or change your startup’s direction, if your original MVP app testing does not go quite as planned.
Responsive Design: Responsive design ensures that your website or digital product will function successfully across all devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablets.
Runway: This metaphorical term refers to how long your startup’s finances will last, proposing when you will run out of funds. You can use this data as a guide for when you need to begin pitching your MVP app to investors.
Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS is taking the startup world by storm. SaaS is software that is sold on a subscription basis and is commonly centrally hosted.
Term Sheet: Term sheets come into play with investors. The term sheet outlines what your investors will receive for their investment. This document typically includes their percentage of ownership and what voting rights they hold.
Three F’s: Friends, family, or fools.
Unicorn: Companies or startups that achieve value over $1 billion. Interestingly, we expect to see our first no-code unicorns by 2022.
Unique Selling Point (USP): Also known as Value Proposition, your startup’s USP is the component of your offerings that makes your Big Idea unique to the market you are in and earns you competitive advantage.
User Interface (UI): The User Interface is the point at which your user interacts with your product or digital experience. A good UI leads to a good user experience.
User Experience (UX): Your User Experience includes all elements of the user using your product, from the usability and accessibility to their level of content while interacting with it. The ultimate goal is a streamlined, positive UX, though this typically requires creating new iterations over time combined with user testing.
Venture Capitalist (VC): Venture capitalists are private equity investors who fund startups with the belief that those startups hold high growth potential. In exchange, they request a stake in your startup’s equity.

Now that you’ve studied up, you’re prepared to network and converse. If you’re still a bit apprehensive and would like the opportunity to practice pitching to investors with your new vocabulary, consider signing up for our No-Code Bootcamp.

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