Modestas Mitkus
Mar 30, 2021

It’s Time to Learn a New Language – Startup Lingo!

When you find yourself in a situation for the first time, you often lack the words to describe it. It is okay to look up the phrase you need when having a chat with a friend, but if you run out of terms or do not know what investors talk about in a business meeting, do not expect a pat on the back. During negotiations about your business’s future, the ability to sell the idea is essential, so you surely need to sound professional – and what’s the better way to ensure it than getting familiar with Startup lingo?!


How can New Words Open Broader Horizons?

Creating a Startup and presenting its idea to others can feel like stepping out of your element. There are plenty of accelerators mentoring young entrepreneurs to iterate their ideas, correctly position the new product on the market, create a powerful and immersive elevator pitch, and set milestones. Even if you have not used those words before, it is good to learn them.


Accelerator – a hub helping startups launch their product by mentoring and providing space or funds.
Entrepreneur – an individual starting a business and taking financial risks in the hope of success.
Iteration – a repetitive process of refining an idea to perfection.
Elevator Pitch – a short presentation (30-60 seconds) covering business’ concept, model, market strategy, and value proposition to potential investors.
Milestone – a financial or business goal to reach within a given time.


Are we Still Talking Startup?

Unknown and strange things make us doubt, but what is more troubling are the moments when you think you know everything and yet you hear a word you have never heard before. Imagine investors asking you about MVP, POC, CAC, MRR, or ROI – what seems to be just a bunch of letters is actually one of the most critical acronyms in a Startup business. Better be prepared than sorry!


MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – is a beta version of your product to test or attract funding.
POC (Proof of Concept) – evidence demonstrating that the business idea is feasible.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs) – the cost associated with convincing a person to buy a business’ product, i.e., acquiring a new customer.
MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) – a realistic amount of income the business is sure to receive every month.
ROI (Return of Investment) – an evaluation of how much the investment will benefit the person who decided to fund your business.


How not to Confuse Startup Lingo with Real Life Terms?

Once gotten confident with Startup lingo and knowing the difference between B2B (business to business) with B2C (business to consumer), you are ready to face and impress the investors. However, it’s even easier to fail as Startup glossary terms may sound like words you use in a real-life but have a very different meaning. Be sure to check twice!


Seed – a first official round of financing a startup; funds go to making a prototype or proofing a business’ concept.
Runway – an estimated period of how long your cash will last till they run out.
Bubble – a situation in the economy when a company/industry is overvalued and over-inflated and will go bust yet does not know that.
Exit – a strategy or method by which an entrepreneur or an investor plan to sell their shares.
Unicorn – a startup whose value has climbed over 1 billion US dollars.


We will repeat once again – professionalism is just as important as the business idea itself. You need to know your business and the market vocabulary like the back of your hand to be on the same level as investors during negotiations or presentations. Do your homework and get that deal!

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