Business Vocab

Just like many companies and schools, the entrepreneur world has its own, sometimes unclear, vocabulary.   Swing back to this page anytime you encounter a word or concept you don’t understand.  And if you think a word you find should be part of this list so others can learn about it, tell us here.

B2B: Business-to-business – a business that sells its products or services to other businesses.  Oracle sells computer databases to businesses.

B2C: Business-to-consumer – a business that sells its products or services to individual people (consumers).  Apple sells iPhones to individuals.

Capital/Raising Capital: Capital is the funds provided by investors or lenders that companies use to buy equipment, hire people, and run their business.

Elevator Pitch:  A short, 30-second description of your business that can explain the basics of your business to someone who knows nothing about it.  A successful elevator pitch clearly articulates what you do, who you are, and why the listener (usually a potential customer or investor in your business) should care.

Entrepreneurship: Turning an idea into a business.

Exit strategy: a way to transition ownership of a company.  This can be through a merger or acquisition, by selling the company, taking the company public through the stock market, or by dissolving the company.

Founder: A founder is someone who starts a business.  If multiple people work together to form the business, they are co-founders.

Investor: An investor is someone who provides money to (invests in) a company.  Investors can invest by giving money for stock (which represents ownership of a portion of the company’s value) or by giving money as a loan that the company must pay back over time with interest.

Iterate: Iteration means always trying to improve your products by upgrading them and innovating based on customer feedback.

MVP:  Minimum viable product: the simplest, cheapest version of your idea that you can create so that when early customers use it, you can learn useful information about what they like and don’t like about it so you can quickly improve the product.

Startup: A specific type of company that is founded with the intent of becoming large and highly profitable.

Venture Capital/Venture Capitalist:  A venture capitalist is a specific type of investor that invests large amounts of money (hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars) into startup companies.  Venture capital refers to the money that is invested in a startup company.

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