An entrepreneur's glossary
By Catherine Lyons
As I've done more reporting on the startup community here in New Orleans, I've come across some terms that caused some confusion, and made me ask my sources, "um, sorry but what is the difference between angel investments and...worldly investments?"
I've gotten some laughs, so to prevent further confusion (and slight embarrassment), I put together a glossary of "startup terms" that I've come across recently.
Seed Funding: Seed in business terms refers to a company in its early stages; seed funding is funding granted a company in its early stages, to get it off the ground. Many of the events during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week
revolve around seed funding and seed "accelerators" (see term below), like Speed to Seed - a speed dating-like event for seed businesses to pitch their idea to investors.
Elevator Pitch: A pitch that companies use to tell about their products or business quickly and succinctly. It gets its name from the idea that the pitch should be able to be made in the span of an elevator ride (30 seconds to two minutes).
Angel Investment (versus venture capital): Angel investors invest their own money into a business, whereas venture capitalists invest other people's money.
Pivot: Chris Schultz
called this the startup term du jour; it is used to mean changing directions in your business strategy.
: IDEACorps is the program through The Idea Village that pairs teams of top MBA students from around the country with New Orleans entrepreneurs. At the end of NOEW, each entrepreneur and MBA team will make the pitch that they made the most tangible impact on the company they were paired with for the week.
: IDEAPitch is part of Friday's Coulter Challenge at NOEW. Five companies were nominated and chosen to participate in the competition. They will be pitching to a room full of investors. The audience and the panel of judges will choose a winner, who gets the opportunity to fly to San Francisco to meet with some of the country's top investors.
Social Innovation/Entrepreneurship: New ideas, business models and companies with a slant toward solving social problems or addressing social issues.
Seed Accelerator: A programatic approach to developing entrepreneurs. The value proposition is that, in only a few weeks, accelerator programs can help entrepreneurs accomplish what might take a year or three years to do and get through. An example of a seed accelerator in New Orleans is Lauchpad Ignition
(check back here tomorrow for updates on which companies they are investing in).
: Obama's initiative, announced January 2011, that seeks to "celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation," as well as create jobs and encourage innovation around the country. Launchpad Ignition is a part of Startup America.
The Idea Village
: A nonprofit organization founded in 2000 with a "mission to identify, support and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans by providing business resources to high-impact ventures." NOEW and the Water Challenge
are both projects of The Idea Village.
Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]