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April 29, 2019, by Katy Johnson

An Intro Guide to Start-Up Lingo

By Grace Dillon, Content Writer at TalentPool

Thinking of working at a start-up after graduation? As with any workplace, the start-up world comes with a dictionary-load of new words and phrases that you’ll need to familiarise yourself with. To help you get started, TalentPool has put together a list of 20 commonly used start-up terms that you’re bound to come across:   

Start-up phrases

1. Accelerator

A company that provides industry expertise to small businesses in exchange for equity.

2. Angel Investor 

An individual who provides a business with investment, advice, and contacts in return for equity. Angel Investors are usually more interested in the company itself than in making a profit. 

3. Bootstrapping 

When an individual uses their own money, or even money from family and friends, to start a business. 

4. Burn Rate

The speed at which a company spends its budget. 

5. Business to Business (B2B)

A company that sells its products or services to other businesses. 

6. Business to Consumer (B2C) 

A company that sells its products or services to the general public. 

7. Churn Rate 

The number of customers that stop using a subscription-based service after a certain amount of time. 

8. Deck (AKA Pitch Deck)

A concise but thorough pitch (usually in the form of a 10-page powerpoint presentation) designed to convince investors to fund a business proposition. 

9. Disruptive 

A product that is so new and innovative that it completely shakes up (or ‘disrupts’) the market. 

10. Equity

Essentially, a stake in the company. Equity refers to stock and shares that investors receive in exchange for their funding. 

11. Exit Strategy 

How a company plans to bring itself to an end. This is bound to change depending on the direction the company takes and the level of success it achieves. 

12. First Mover Advantage (FMA)

When a business offers a completely original product or service to the market. Some investors will see this uniqueness as a key selling point and therefore an advantage.  

13. Incubator 

Coworking spaces that provide mentorship to companies at the very start of their journey. Like Accelerators, Incubators get equity in return for their services. 

14. Initial Public Offering (IPO) and Direct Public Offering (DPO)

When private companies make their shares available to the public. Frequently referred to as “going public,” startups do this to raise funds. 

15. Return on Investment (ROI)

What an investor expects to receive in return for putting their money into a business. ROI can also apply to the result a company expects from a marketing campaign. 

16. Scalable

A business that has the potential to grow because there is a high demand for what it offers.  

17. Unicorn

Not the mythical horse (unfortunately), but a startup worth more than one billion dollars. 

18. Valuation (Pre-money and Post-money)

How much a company is worth: pre-money valuation is the company’s value before receiving money from investors; post-money is how much it’s worth after investment. 

19. Value Proposition (AKA Unique Selling Point)

The key feature of a product or service that makes it stand out from its competitors. 

20. Venture Capitalist (VC)

An individual who invests in a company with the aim of gaining a high ROI. 

Our support

If you would like to start up your own business, get involved with the Ingenuity Lab. They support students and our alumni to achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. Book on for a careers appointment with one of our expert advisers to find out about the support we have on offer to help you to become self-employed.

Posted in Employer Insights