Seven Words You Need When Talking Startups

Jumping into the world of startups is a new, exciting, and sometimes anxiety-inducing experience. The less than fun feelings can be heightened when you’re greeted by unfamiliar lingo.

That’s why we’ve created this helpful glossary of Seven Words You Need When Talking Startups to guide you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

Being equipped with this glossary will make settling in and connecting with your startup community easier.

Startup Glossary Terms

Angel Investor

Angel investors are individuals who invest in emerging startups. Often they contribute the in-between capital between founders' self-funding and venture capital (see definition below).


An ecosystem is a network made up of:

  • Different entrepreneurial individuals.
  • Organisations that support entrepreneurship include venture capitalists, business angels and banks.
  • Institutions like universities, public sector agencies and incubators.

This network is the heart of entrepreneurship and ensures the flourishing of new and existing ventures. 


Entrepreneurial incubators provide startups and early-stage businesses with the support and resources they need to innovate and grow. 

This support can look like access to mentors and investors, workshops, networking events and a workspace to connect and collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs.


A scale-up is a startup that has grown because it has proven its viability and market fit.

The startup is entering its second stage of development - presenting its product or service to the masses. During this phase, a scale-up will experience exponential growth.

Social (or Impact) Enterprise

A social enterprise is any business with a defined social mission or purpose that generates revenue to advance those aims.

The social mission can include social, environmental, cultural or welfare-orientated goals and aims.

The term ‘enterprise’ includes charitable trusts, companies, and partnerships.


A startup is a company in its early stages of development.

Founders have taken the leap to develop a viable product or service that they believe meets the needs of the consumer. They are now in the stage of presenting to potential investors and getting ready for the market.

Venture Capital

Startup companies hit a stage where growth is only possible with significant financing.

According to The Balance, venture capital is a form of financing in which the business gives up partial ownership and control of the business in exchange for capital over a limited time frame, usually 3-5 years.

You’re now equipped with some entry-level lingo to help you navigate your entrepreneurial journey. Are there any other terms you’ve come across? We’d love to hear from you.


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