$3 trillion dollars. That’s how much the global startup industry is worth. Imagine occupying one hundredth of one percent of that market. You’d be a multimillionaire. To further put the startup industry into perspective: if it were its own country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world just behind Germany. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, it’s also grown by 20% in the last two years. Now hold your horses. Let’s figure out the basics to startups before we can enjoy our private jets and vacation homes in the South of France.

Startups differ from traditional small businesses in a few drastic ways. The first is the rate at which a startup grows. Startups aren’t trying to sell honeys and jams to their neighbors at the local farmer’s market. They’re looking at selling products and services to the masses very quickly. Startups don’t soley look to create markets, they look to disrupt existing ones.

Another stark difference between startups and small businesses is how they each raise capital. Small businesses utilize grants and loans to fund the creation of their operations, while startups can utilize those avenues, oftentimes they use investors to meet milestones that much faster. These investments diversify ownership and can sometimes open up a new network of mentors and partners to accelerate launch and scale.

Lastly, because startups look to equity based funding sources, they start with an end goal in mind to strategically maximize investor returns. That may mean selling the company, getting acquired by a competitor, or going public. Either way, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as free money, hence investors expect hefty returns.

Overall, startups are concerned about moving fast, growing faster, and operating with an end in mind. Now that we know the basics, let’s Get Started.

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