The term ‘startup company’ was popularized during the dot-com bubble of the late 90s. Because of this, the term is erroneously thought to exclusively refer to tech companies.
However, startups at their core rely on these four core elements: high ambition, innovation, scalability and growth.
Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits explains it well: “I think the first measure for a startup is: is it something new—a process, a product, a category, a business model, an ecosystem?”
It does seem that many successful startups are more dependent on the idea itself, but it is also apparent that the board members need to work and communicate efficiently and effectively for a startup to flourish and progress to the next stage.
Bdeir expands on her initial point: “No matter what it is, it has to have not existed before. Obviously other factors come into play: restrictions around resources, finances, size of teams, etc., but I find there is a lot of variation there, and for me the most important first qualifier is that it is novel.”
“There obviously isn’t a formula [for what makes a startup], but it’s some combination of how long you’ve been operating and how much of your business model you’re still proving out,” says Daniella Yacobovsky, a co-founder of BaubleBar.