30 Startup Terms Every Entrepreneur and Startup Founder Should Know

If are planning to start your startup business then definitely you will need to describe what your company does when you want to raise capital from investor. You need to speak their language to, it is also called startup lingo. It is wise to know the vocabulary which is common in the circuit to showcase your business plan effectively. These words are also called jargon words.

Following is the list of jargon words often known as startup jargon which every aspiring entrepreneur should know about. According to dictionary, jargon words mean special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.

In this article, we've shared some commonly used startup terms which you may not have heard yet or if you already know these terms then also you can learn more about the startup terms to enhance your knowledge about startup and entrepreneurship. Before diving into these terms let's first find out what a startup actually is?

What is Startup?

Startup is any company which is at its infant stage and founded by one or two entrepreneur for the purpose of launching a unique product or service. Well everyone having different perspective suggests variety of definitions, but the popular one given by wikipedia is as - "A startup or start-up is a company or project begun by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable economic model."

So, now let's move to the business terms every entrepreneur should know.

30 Startup Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Startup Terms and Jargon Words You Need to Know
Startup Terms and Jargon Words You Need to Know

1. Activation

Activation is a measurement of the conversion rate from when a prospective lead becomes an active user on your website. This is a result of a user downloading or signing up to your app/website.

2. Acqui-hire

It is a strategy used to acquire talent when one company buys out another company primarily for the skills and expertise of the staff.

3. Accelerator

Also called an Incubator, is a center where start-ups are “incubated” through mentorship, space and sometimes money.

4. Advertorials

It is a paid form of content that is meant to look and feel like a real story or blog post. In recent times, display ad pricing and effectiveness have decreased so turning to advertorials is a better option for companies to capture ad revenue.

5. Boot-Strapping

Bootstrapping is the use of money that is taken from friends and family, existing resources or personal savings as the initial investment to startup a business.

Brand Positioning Strategies for Business | How to Make Customers Loyal
This is the 21st century. You cannot expect a good profit unless customers think about you. Although there is nothing like negative marketing, you still have to make people think about you. It can be anything. They just have to think about your brand. And all this comes under the term “brand positio…

6. Burn Rate

Also called as Run Rate, in simple words it means how fast you are blowing your cash. Investors try to avoid putting their money where the burn rate is excessive. But it is also not unusual for the start-up to lose sums of money for several years before breaking or making a profit.

7. Churn Rate

It is also called the rate of attrition. Churn Rate is known as the percentage of service subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given span of time. The growth rate must exceed its churn rate.

8. Cliff

Cliffs are a way for an Executive to fire employees or let them leave without giving them stock within limited period of time. Cliffs are also used by the investors on CEOs to make sure the CEO sticks around after getting the cash.

9. Deck

Also called ‘Pitch Deck’, it is a short and limited slide of PPT that covers all the aspects of your aspects. It is usually contains ten slides. The deck should be compact, concise and create a maximum impact. One should consider to gain a lot of feedback and hiring a graphic designer to make the final version look spectacular.

10. Disruptive Technology

A discovery of such technology that completely changes the way society does something. Example, Uber and Ola changed the way Taxis used to operate. Amazon or FlipCart being a virtual store that did not existed about two decades ago, there were physical in-store shopping.

11. Exit Strategy

It is a plan that is executed by an investor, trader, business owner or venture capitalist to liquidate a position in a financial asset or dispose of tangible business assets once certain predetermined criteria for either has been met or exceeded. It is basically a strategy on how you will sell the company and make your investors some financial gain through the same. It includes all the decisions like who is going to buy and why and at which amount.

How to Do Market Research For Your Startup
How to Do Market Research For Your Startup ? A big question for persons having startup idea. It is great to have an idea that expects to capture the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere or perhaps stumbling upon a service that isn’t being offered by anyone else, hopefully, a service or product t…

12. FMA

FMA is First Mover Advantage and it means an advantage gained by the initial significant occupant of a market segment. First-Mover Advantage might be gained by technological leadership, early purchase of resources or releasing some product/service that is ahead of its time.

13. Freemium

Freemium is a form of pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but an amount in the form of premium is charged for additional features, services or virtual. Example, a digital offering or an app such as Netflix which charges a premium before you can avail a free trial.

14. Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking
Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking is a term that was coined by Sean Ellis and it basically describes a marketing technique that focuses on quickly finding scalable growth through non-traditional and inexpensive tactics such as the use of internet or social media. The objective of growth hacking strategies is generally to acquire as many users or customers as possible while spending as little as possible.

15. Intellectual Property

An IP can be a patent or a secret sauce or formula like Coca-Cola's recipe. It is a creation of such an invention, artistic work, design, symbol, name and images used in commerce.

16. Iterate

In simple words iterate means to try something, do it wrong, and then try it again in a slightly different way with the hopes of achieving a better result.

17. Launch

Launch means to introduce and start something new, for instance a company, a website or a product.

How to Generate Leads - 100 Proven Ways of Lead Generation
Generating leads and achieving consumer interest is not an easy task. According to some studies, if you generate more leads, but have an average product – you still win. This shows the importance of lead generation or any business. 85% of expert marketers believe that lead generation is the most imp…

18. Leverage

Leverage is an investment strategy that is used while we take into consideration an amount that is borrowed – borrowed capital. It focuses on the use of various financial instruments to increase the potential return on an investment. In accounting term, leverage also means the amount of debt a firm uses to finance assets.

19. Loss Leader Pricing

The type of pricing where you are selling something at a loss as a form of marketing expense to bring in customers you expect repeat future purchases from.

20. Market Penetration

Market Penetration is a measure of the amount of sales, adoption and presence of a product or service compared to the total theoretical market for that product or service. The term also means to include the activities that are used to increase the market share of a product or service.

21. Monetize

The term means something is converted from a non-revenue generating asset into a source of revenue. In economics, monetizing means to convert any object or transaction into a form of currency or something that has transferable value.

22. MVP

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product and it means a product with just enough features to satisfy early consumers and to provide feedback for future product development. It is basically a bare-bones version of a product required to achieve proof of concept and is often used in creation of new software that will be Beta tested, so that later an upgraded version can be released.

23. Pivot

Pivot in commerce language would mean changing directions as a company and is usually used to describe as going after a different market segment or using an established technology for an entirely new purpose.

How to Build Best Company Culture - Things to Avoid
When you begin an entrepreneurial journey or get a job in a startup, it feels like you have got a great opportunity to showcase your skill-set and the methodology of work also shifts. This shifts due to the different culture prevailing in different startups. Every organization whether it is big or s…

24. ROI

ROI stands for Return on Investment. It can described as the performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or comparing the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI is a financial metric of profitability that is used to measure the return or gain from an investment made by an investor or businessmen.

25. Sweat Equity

These are the shares of a company given in exchange for work done by its employees. Sweat Equity is a good recruiting technique that helps a company attract passionate talent that can be paid in non-monetary investments that the owners or employees contribute to a business venture.

26. Term Sheet

Term Sheet is a document that outlines what an investor has agreed to on the terms and conditions under which the investment will be made. It serves as a template that can be used to develop more detailed legally binding documents.

27. Traction

The term means a proof that people are actually buying and using your product or services.

28. Valuation

Valuation means what your company is being valued at. Pre-money valuation is the value before your startup take investors’ money and Post-money valuation is that amount plus the investment put in.

29. Value Prop

The term describes what is the most unique or attractive feature of your product or service.

30. VC

VC stands for Venture Capitalist and it is a person that provides capital to firms exhibiting high growth potential in exchange for an equity stake. The objective could be to fund startup ventures or supporting small companies that wish to expand but do not have access to equities market at present.

For any company to survive in this ecosystem of severe competition, they must have a very strong business [https://startuptalky.com/tag/business/] model backing their idea or innovation. A business model is often termed as a plan according to which a company operates, it includes target consumers, t…


Whether you are planning to launch your startup or you already have an established startup business you need to know all the startup terms and keep yourself updated. These are some of the commonly used startup terms. We will try our best to keep this list of jargon words updated. If you want to suggest anything let us know in the comment below.

Author image

About Niku Mandal

You've successfully subscribed to StartupTalky
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to StartupTalky
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.