What Is a Startup Company, Anyway?

Source | : By Emma McGowan

From single founders with no team to some of the biggest tech companies in the world, our definition of “startup” is extremely broad — and very unclear.

While most people wouldn’t put Uber and Facebook in the same category as the apps and games and services being hatched in co-working spaces across the country, they’re all still referred to as startups.

So what is a startup company, anyway?

Perhaps the most popular definition of a startup is from Eric Ries, the creator of the Lean Startup methodology:

“A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”

What is a startup banner Co-Founder and CEO Wil Schroter has his own definition of what a startup is.

“A startup is the living embodiment of a founder’s dream,” Wil says. “It represents the journey from concept to reality. It is one of the few times when you can take something that is only a dream and make it a reality, not just for yourself, but for the entire world.”

Both Eric and Wil’s definitions of what a startup is are examples of big-picture thinking; a big-tent approach to defining “startup.” But there’s another side to the definition of “startup:” the nitty-gritty. The details. The little things that make one company a startup and another a small business and another a corporation.

So let’s start with these broad, philosophical definitions and drill down into the specifics. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to answer definitively that big question:


A startup (or startup-up) is a company typically in the early stages of its development. These entrepreneurial ventures are typically started by 1-3 founders who focus on capitalizing upon a perceived market demand by developing a viable product, service, or platform.

During the early stages of launching, startups are usually self-funded by members of the founding team — though 66% of startups secure funding through an investor or take out a loan to help fund their venture.

Read On….

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