Startup Basics / Startup Life

19 Startup Tech Terms You Need To Know

On a scale of 1 to 10, how familiar are you with what a Venture Capitalist actually does? No, I am not talking about Shark Tank because to be completely honest most of those deals made on the show don’t actually happen and some are staged. Sorry to bust your bubble. To be honest, I had very limited knowledge of all this stuff. I mean I understood the dot com bubble that busted in the 90’s but tech industry has grown so much since then.

Did you know that Nasty Gal is considered a fashion tech company. Most companies collect data. Yes, your information you freely give to them is data that they store and use. Some companies sale your data. Time to break down the newbies guide to tech terms that will help you in so many ways.


When one company buys controlling stake in another company. This can be friendly acquisition or it can be hostile. We recently talked acquisition on this site in regards to L’Oreal acquiring Carol’s Daughter.


Cohort-based programs that include mentorship and educational components, as well as, culminate at public pitch events or demo days. This is a fixed-term.

Angel Investor 

An individual who provides a small amount of capital to a startup for a stake in the company. You can learn more about Angel Investors on Angelist.co (great website).

Board of directors

Is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. It should be noted not all startup businesses have board of directors. I personally say I have a “tribe” of influential women surrounding me. Some have launched multi-million dollar companies, one started as an intern and now is the head of a magazine and so on. 


A company is bootstrapped when it is funded by the resources of the entrepreneur; the revenue that the company brings in. We have discussed bootstrapping before in our payment gateway series. This is very common in communities. Imperfect Concepts Media Group is bootstrapped.


Monetary assets currently available for use. Entrepreneurs raise capital to start a company and continue raising capital to grow the company.

CTO – Chief Technology Officer

Is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupant is focused on scientific and technological issues within an organization.

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

Is generally the senior corporate officer (executive) or administrator in charge of managing a for-profit organization.

CMO – Chief Marketing Officer 

 Is a corporate executive responsible for marketing activities in an organization.

CFO – Chief Financial Officer

Is a corporate officer primarily responsible for managing the financial risks of the corporation.

COO – Chief Operation Officer

Is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company.


The art of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, mainly through internet based companies. This is a fairly new term, but most people are familiar with it because of sites such as Kickstarter & Indie Go Go.


Is the information that companies collect from its users and use in different equations and algorithms for their business purposes.


Is the residual value or interest of the junior class of investors, in assets after all liabilities are paid; if liability exceeds assets negative equity exists.


An organization that helps develop early stage companies. They usually help in exchange for equity in the company.


Startups raise capital from VC firms in individual rounds, depending on the stage of the company. The first round is usually a Seed round followed by Series A, B, and C rounds, if necessary.

Tech Advisor 

Is an individual who is an expert in a particular field of knowledge; hired to provide detailed information and advice to people working in that field.


The seed round is the first official round of financing for a startup. At this point a company is usually raising funds for proof of concept and/or to produce a prototype. Referred to as a “seed stage” company.

Series Funding

Refers to the specific round of financing a company is raising.

Venture capital

Money provided by venture capital firms; to small, high-risk, startup companies with major growth potential.

Venture capitalist

An individual investor, working for a venture capital firm, that chooses to invest in specific companies. Venture capitalists typically have a specific market or sector that they know well and invest in.

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