What is a Startup?


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If you haven’t heard yet, Colorado is one of the premier regions for tech startups. After following local technology news for the past 2 months with my Colorado Tech Weekly posts I’ve noticed that it is impossible to pay attention to technology news in Colorado without hearing about our thriving startup culture.

I was recently asked to contribute some of my local tech news to the StartupDenver website. As someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who’s goal is to become a software developer, naturally I jumped at the chance! But now as I think about the best way to contribute, I’m stuck with one question in my head: What is a Startup?

My first answer to this question was that a Startup is a new company with a lot of excitement around it, but as I thought about it more that answer didn’t quite work. Three years ago I started my own business as an owner/operator and I was excited about it, but it definitely wasn’t what I would consider a Startup.

What creates that excitement?

Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator explains it best:

 A startup is a company designed to grow fast.  Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup.  Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of “exit.”  The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.

Startup = Growth. That’s what causes the excitement! Think of businesses as cars. A Startup is a drag racing car at the starting line. The CEO is the driver. The rest of the staff is the parts of the car and the pit crew. The funders are the owners of the car. Everyone involved in the building and operation of this race car is excited, nervous, scared and confident. I’m excited that I am getting the opportunity to experience this excitement in Colorado.

On your mark…
Get set…

Image courtesy of Denver Post (