A startup is a newly founded company that pursues an innovative and growth-oriented business model. This is preferably in the technology sector and in the digital economy.
Due to the high risk of default, startups are financed largely outside of banks. Sponsors are public development institutes, private investors and venture capital funds or companies.
What is a startup?
A startup is a newly founded company that pursues an innovative business model with high growth potential. This distinguishes startups from “classic” business start-ups, for example, in crafts or freelance professions. However, the boundaries are fluid. “Startup” is not a fixed-term, sometimes it is only intended to indicate “modernity”, without the business model being really innovative and promising above-average growth. Some startups offer discounts and rebate programs to their clients.
A startup is new and untried
Many startups are active in the technology sector or in the digital economy. Possible business areas are e-commerce, financial technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, software development, AI applications, big data, virtual and augmented reality and much more.
A typical feature of many startups is that there is only a rudimentary market for the intended offerings and it first has to be developed. Likewise, a mature business model often does not yet exist but has to be found. Some companies that copy existing technology-oriented or digital business models also refer to themselves as startups. The technology and possibly the market are then “new” at best.
Real risk finance
“Real” startups are characterized by a particularly high risk. On average, only one in ten startups can really get off to a flying start. More than 80 percent of start-ups are on the brink of collapse within three years. Around a third of startup founders have previously failed with another startup project. The main reasons for failure are that the business model is unsustainable, conflicts in the founding team, financing and liquidity problems.
Because of the high risk, startups often have no access to the usual bank financing. If – which is usually the case – the necessary start-up capital cannot be provided from your own funds alone, external help is required. The capital then often comes from private investors – including business angels who, in addition to the capital investment, provide advice and support. There are also some public funding programs that support startup funding. In addition, private venture capital funds and companies are involved in financing.