DEFINITION of 'Startup'

A company that is in the first stage of its operations. These companies are often initially bank rolled by their entrepreneurial founders as they attempt to capitalize on developing a product or service for which they believe there is a demand. Due to limited revenue or high costs, most of these small scale operations are not sustainable in the long term without additional funding from venture capitalists.


In the late 1990s, the most common type of startup company was a dotcom. Venture capital was extremely easy to obtain during that time due to a frenzy among investors to speculate on the emergence of these new types of businesses. Unfortunately, most of these internet startups eventually went bust due to major oversights in their underlying business plans, such as a lack of sustainable revenue.

However, there were a handful of internet startups that did survive when the dotcom bubble burst. Internet bookseller and internet auction portal eBay are examples of such companies.

  1. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  2. Capitalization Table

    A spreadsheet or table that shows ownership stakes in a company, ...
  3. Equity Compensation

    This is one way to attract and retain employees to a startup ...
  4. Business Starts Index

    A compilation of statistics published by Dun & Bradstreet ...
  5. Dotcom

    A company that embraces the internet as the key component in ...
  6. Venture Capital

    Money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses ...
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