Looking to land an internship with that local start-up? Or aiming for the position at an up-and-coming firm for your NOC? If that is your aim, then getting familiar with these 100 terms will surely be one of the first few steps you need to take to enhance your knowledge on the entrepreneurship sector, and start using the right lingo.

Growth and Marketing

  1. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

Amount of revenue earned from each user; important to track for different reasons

(E.g. find out which target audience you should focus on)

  1. Daily / Monthly Active Users

No. of users who come back to perform a specific action (defined by you) within a specific time period. Most investors specifically watch out for this metric.

(E.g. For Facebook, a daily active user might be someone who visited Facebook.com, logged-in and clicked something on their news feed every day.)

  1. Stickiness

Average minutes per month visitors spend at a site. Sometimes stickiness is measured in terms of page views.

When defined as minutes per month, site stickiness is a function of number of visits (repeat usage) and time spent per visit (session stickiness).

  1. Viral Coefficient

Number which tells you how many customers each is your present customer bringing to you on an average

  1. A/B Testing / Split Testing

Process of comparing two versions of a web page (with one variable changed) to see which one converts better.

(E.g. Comparing two different website colour schemes to see leads to more revenue earned.)

  1. Lifetime Value of Customer

Projected revenue that a customer will generate during their lifetime

  1. Customer Acquisition Cost

Resources that a business must allocate (financial or otherwise) in order to acquire an additional customer.

  1. Cohort Analysis

Compares how different groups of customers behave over time. This gives you quick and clear insight into customer retention trends and the health of your business.

(E.g. See how much monthly revenue is driven from people who signed up 4 years ago or people who recently signed up.)

  1. Customer Segmentation

Process of dividing customers into groups based on common characteristics so companies can market to each group effectively and appropriately.

  1. Bounce Rate

Percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

  1. Assisted Conversion

Interactions that a customer has with a website leading up to a conversion, but not the final interaction

  1. Organic Traffic

Visitors that lands on your webpage from a search engine, such as Google or Bing.

  1. Paid Search

Advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site

  1. Pay Per Click (PPC)

A model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

  1. Cost Per Impression (CPM)

Cost for every 1000 times your ad is displayed to a visitor.

  1. Click-Through Rate

Ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.

  1. Sessions

Group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame.

(E.g. A single session can contain multiple screen or page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions.)

  1. Unique Users/Visitors (Focus: “Unique”)

Unique is a completely new user/visitor who has accessed your site.

(E.g. if you visit this link once today, you will be counted as a unique visitor. If you come back to this site 20 more times today, you are still counted as one unique visitor.)

  1. Hockey Stick Growth

Companies experiencing massive user growth in a short period of time, generally referred to as hockey stick growth.

  1. Traction

Proof that somebody wants your product. VCs or investors look at this when deciding whether to invest.

There are many metrics that determine traction: daily active users, unique visitors, viral coefficient etc.

  1. Earned Media

Online word of mouth, usually seen in the form of ‘viral’ tendencies, mentions, shares, reposts, reviews

  1. Paid Media

Paying to promote content. Some examples are paying for advertisements on Facebook, Linkedin or engaging social media influencers to promote your content.

  1. Owned Media

Web property that you can control and is unique to your brand. Some examples include company’s website, blogs and social media channels

  1. Content Marketing

Type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of high-quality online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services indirectly.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results

  1. SEM

Form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Process of leveraging on the audience of popular personalities (e.g. bloggers or social media personalities) to spread awareness about your brand

  1. Word of Mouth

Unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service

  1. Display Ads

Type of online advertising that comes in several forms, including banner ads. Unlike text-based ads, display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to communicate an advertising message.

  1. Fat head keywords

A term related to SEO. It refers to general and non-specific terms. For example, dog food or sports shoes. Such keywords are highly competitive and are difficult to rank highly for on search engines.

Ranking highly for fat head keywords can generate high volumes of traffic to your website but may have lower conversion due to a less specific target audience.

  1. Long tail keywords

A term related to SEO. It is often longer and are more specific. For example, dog food for golden retrievers or sports shoes for long distance running. Long tail keywords are less competitive and easier to rank highly on search engines.

However, it generates lower volumes of traffic but have a conversion rate as a more specific target audience is attracted.

  1. Email Marketing

Usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.

  1. Drip Campaigns

(Set of marketing emails that will be sent out automatically on a schedule. Emails can be varied based on triggers, or actions the person has performed like signing up for your service or making a purchase,

E.g. One email will go out automatically as soon as someone signs up, another will go out 3 days later.)

  1. Vanity Metrics

Pieces of data that makes you feel good but does not accurately reflect the situation of the business.

Example: Number of downloads, number of visits

  1. Actionable Metrics

Pieces of data that tie specific and repeatable actions to observed results. Actionable metrics lead to informed business decisions and subsequent action.

Example: Average Revenue Per User, Daily Active Users

  1. Net promoter score

The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.

  1. Inbound Marketing

An approach focused on attracting customers through content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more to create brand awareness and attract new business.


Product Management

  1. User Interface Design (UI)

Series of screens, pages, and visual elements—like buttons and icons—that you use to interact with a device.

A good UI design is intuitive, consistent in design, aesthetically pleasing, and non-buggy.

  1. User Experience Design (UX)

The overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.

  1. Wireframe

A wireframe is equivalent to the skeleton or simple structure of your website/app. Each one is used to describe the functionality of a product as well as relations between views (what will happen when you click a certain button). The decisions on what (content/features) and where to put on the website or app are usually made during this stage.

  1. Mockup

A wireframe with colours, fonts, text (Lorem ipsum), images, logos and added. Your result is a static map of the app.

  1. Prototype

A mockup that is non-static, enriched with button interactions and animations.

  1. User Flow

A series of web pages that define a visitor or task. It includes the steps that a user performs to complete the task, during a website visit or other UX process.

  1. User interviews

Common user research technique used typically to get qualitative information from either existing or potential users so as to improve the current application.

  1. Minimum Viable Product

A product with just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development.

  1. Sprint

A typically week-long process where a key business question is resolved through design, prototyping, and testing with customers.

  1. Agile Methodology

Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end.

  1. Lean Startup

Lean startup is a methodology for developing businesses and products. The methodology aims to shorten product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.

  1. Scrum

A process where product is built after a series of sprints. The objective is to provide a sense of urgency and structure to the product creation process.

  1. Kanban

Kanban is a method for managing the creation of products with an emphasis on continual delivery while not overburdening the development team. Like Scrum, Kanban is a process designed to help teams work together more effectively.

  1. Gantt chart

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of elements of a project.

  1. SWOT Analysis

A study undertaken by an organization to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats.

  1. Waterfall Model

The waterfall model is a sequential (non-iterative) design process, used in software development processes, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production/implementation and maintenance.

  1. Sentiment Analysis

The process of determining the general attitude behind an online mention. There are tools available that can help you glean through the web to find out how people feel about a particular tweet, article through their comments, shares or retweets.

  1. Landing Page

A landing page can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action.

  1. Alpha Testing

Alpha testing is a type of testing that is done on an application towards the end of a development process when the product is almost in a usable state. It is done internally within the team and their family and friends.

  1. Beta testing

Beta testing is the last stage of testing, and normally can involve sending the product to beta test sites outside the company for real-world exposure or offering the product for a free trial download over the Internet.



  1. Angel Investors

An affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

  1. Venture Capitalist

An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or supports small companies that wish to expand but do not have access to equities markets. Venture capitalist are often part of a venture capital firm unlike angel investors who generally operate alone.

  1. Acqui-hire

Process of acquiring a company to recruit its employees, without necessarily showing an interest in its current products and services.

  1. Seed Stage

The first stage of venture capital financing. Seed-stage financings are often comparatively modest amounts of capital provided to inventors or entrepreneurs to finance the early development of a new product or service.

  1. Bridge

A bridge round is generally for companies that have raised a round of funding previously. The bridge is usually provided by existing investors to tide companies over until they are ready to raise their next round of funding from other investors.

  1. Series A,B,C to Z

The different rounds of funding. Funds raised are generally higher than the previous round starting from A.

  1. Term Sheet

A term sheet is a bullet-point document outlining the material terms and conditions of a business agreement. When an investor decides to invest in a start-up, they will offer the start-up a term sheet. Term sheets are non-legal binding.

  1. Runway

The amount of time until your startup goes out of business, assuming your current income and expenses stay constant.

  1. Scalability

A scalable idea is one that can be successful in many different countries and has much room for growth. Investors generally look out for scalable ideas that can monetize.

  1. Monetize

Earn revenue

  1. Lead investor

A lead investor is the first person to put money into your deal. They are not necessarily the person that puts all or most of the money into your deal, but they are the first step in the process. A lead Investor Is social proof to other investors.

  1. Down Round

Occurs in private financing when investors purchase stock or convertible bonds from a company at a lower valuation than the preceding round.

For example, a start-up raising less money in Series B funding than Series A funding. A down round generally represents a lack of optimism of the companies’ future.

  1. Common Stock

Common stock is an ownership share in a corporation that allows its holders voting rights at shareholder meetings and the opportunity to receive dividends. If the corporation liquidates, then common stockholders receive their share of the proceeds of the liquidation after all creditors and preferred stockholders have been paid.

  1. Preferred Stock

A class of ownership in a corporation that has a higher claim on its assets and earnings than common stock. Preferred shares generally have a dividend that must be paid out before dividends to common shareholders and do not usually carry voting rights.

  1. Capitalization Table (Cap Table)

A list of your company’s securities (i.e., stock, options, warrants, etc.) and who owns those securities.

  1. Buyout

The purchase of a controlling share in a company.


Venture Capital

  1. Analyst

Gather due diligence on potential companies to invest in. An analyst is the most junior member on the team.

  1. Associate

In a venture capital firm, the venture capital associate is the second most junior member. Associates are generally responsible for deal sourcing, performing due diligence on companies etc.

  1. Principal

Most principals are associates who have been promoted.

  1. Partners

Partners are people that can sponsor a deal. They can suggest that the firm make an investment in a company. They are the best people to approach during fundraising.

  1. Portfolio Company

All of the companies currently backed by a venture capital firm can be spoken of as the firm’s portfolio.

  1. Due Diligence

A comprehensive appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer, especially to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential.

  1. Entrepreneur in Residence

EIR is a short term (typically 6-12 month) position where an entrepreneur is hosted by a Venture Capital fund as they explore and develop their next adventure. The Venture Capital firm taps on the expertise and experience of their EIR to drive their investment decisions.


General Startup Terms

  1. Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping refers to a business that is started without external financial help and the business is self-sustainable with the revenue it has earned.

  1. Burn Rate

The rate at which a new company spends its initial capital.

  1. Churn Rate

The annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service or employees leave a job.

  1. Pivot

A pivot occurs when a startup pursues a new direction, leveraging previous learnings. Pivots are not restarts and are typically done in search of a repeatable and scalable business model.

  1. SaaS (Software as a Service)

A software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Example of a top SaaS company is Salesforce.

  1. Unicorn

A start-up company valued at over $1 billion.

  1. Centaurs

A start-up company valued at over $100 million.

  1. Ponies

A start-up company valued at over $10 million.

  1. Cockroach Startup

Startups that are self-sustainable and profitable since day one.

  1. Value Proposition

An innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.

  1. B2B (Business to Business)

Exchange of products, services or information between businesses. Examples of B2B companies are IBM and Microsoft.

  1. B2C (Business to Consumer)

Exchange of products, services or information between business and consumers. Examples of B2C companies are Spotify, Uber.

  1. Incubator

Startup incubators house companies that are in its early stage and they do not operate on a set schedule. Incubators are focused more on building products instead of growing.

  1. Accelerator

Accelerators are focused on helping businesses grow and scale within a certain time frame.

  1. Proof of Concept

Proof of concept (POC) is documented evidence that a potential product or service can be successful. Evidence can range from daily active user figures increasing or unique visitors increasing.

  1. Return on Investment

A profitability ratio that calculates the profits of an investment as a percentage of the original cost.

  1. Disruptive Innovation

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.

An example is how Uber or Grab has disrupted the taxi industry.

  1. Liquidation

Liquidation is an event that usually occurs when a company is insolvent, meaning it cannot pay its obligations as and when they come due. The company’s operations are brought to an end, and its assets are divvied up among creditors and shareholders, according to the priority of their claims.

  1. Evangelist

An evangelist is someone who loves your product and is willing to spend them to share your product with the masses.

  1. Early Adopters

A person who is not resistant to change and starts using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available. It is important for companies with novel ideas to target early adopters as their initial target audience.

  1. Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.

  1. Business Model Canvas

A strategic management and lean startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models