Sports Tech Start-up Business Jargon Buster

July 15, 2020

It seems that however experienced in business you might be, there’s always a new term or acronym that comes along to stump you. If you are a start-up business, especially one navigating its way through this minefield for the first time, this can be especially baffling so here’s an A to Z of terms, put together by our friends at Sightline Ventures, that it will pay you to get to know.

  • Accelerator: a place where start-ups are offered mentorship, office space, education and sometimes funding
  • Accredited Investor: a wealthy individual who could put funds into your business
  • Advisory: industry terminology meaning advice
  • Annual Revenues: how much income your company achieves each year, commonly known as ‘turnover’ in the UK
  • B2B / B2C: this refers to your target market and means whether you sell to businesses (ie B2B) or the public (ie B2C)
  • Beta Product: pre-release product which has been tested in-house and is shared with selected third parties before being put on sale / made widely available
  • Bootstrap: a way of funding a young business through securing money from family, friends or personal savings
  • Bottom Line: a company’s income after all expenses have been deducted from revenues
  • Burn Rate: how quickly a company is getting through its money
  • Business Development: essentially this is sales but goes beyond simple transactions insofar as it is also about creating longer-term, meaning relationship with future business prospects
  • Churn Rate: the annual rate at which customers stop buying your product / fail to resubscribe
  • Competition: other businesses which create an identical, similar or partially competition product
  • Pitch Deck: a presentation document that provides an overview of / markets your business
  • Exit Strategy: the timing and style of how you sell your business
  • Financials: most commonly this refers to three core figures: annual revenues, sales and profit
  • Fundraising: this isn’t just about getting money, it’s about the type of money you raise – ie investment via shares or debt from loans
  • Hockey Stick: this is a way of describing business growth meaning after a short period of establishing themselves, businesses hit a turning point and achieve sustained and significant income
  • HNW: High net worth – ie rich people!
  • Incubator: see ‘accelerator’
  • Initial Validation: this is where a business or software has undergone research or testing to prove it is viable
  • IP: this means ‘intellectual property’ – ie something which has been created by a person or business that is legally assigned to that entity via patents, copyright or similar
  • Iterate: this is the process of refining a proposition
  • M&A: meaning ‘mergers and acquisition’, this is a catch-all phrase that relates to the consolidation of companies or assets through financial transactions
  • Market Opportunity: the identified need of businesses or consumers for a specific product or service
  • Market Penetration: how to achieve sales into a defined market sector
  • MVP: meaning ‘minimum viable product’ this refers to the initial stage of creating a workable and marketable version of a commercial product or service
  • Pivot: to pivot is to alter a company’s business strategy in order to accommodate changes in its industry, customer preferences, or any other factor impacting the bottom line (see bottom line)
  • PMF: meaning ‘product market fit’, which means does a company’s output meet the needs of its target market and does so better than its competitors – for many investors this determines the attractiveness of a young business
  • Proposition: this is what your business offering is
  • ROI: meaning ‘return on investment’, this is the calculation of the sum repaid relative to the money put in
  • Seed Funding: the sum of money needed to launch a new business venture; often start-ups do several rounds of seed funding before seeking series A investment
  • Series A: this is usually the first venture capital funding for a business so involves significantly higher amounts than earlier levels of funding
  • SIV: this means ‘structured investment vehicle’ – forget it, it’s not for start-ups
  • SVP: an SPV is a ‘special purpose vehicle’ which allows multiple investors to pool funds to invest in a start-up
  • Sweat Equity: essentially this is unpaid effort by founders or suppliers which is exchanged for a stake in the company
  • USP: meaning ‘unique selling proposition’, which the point identified by a business owner as the reason its product or service is different from and better than that of its competition
  • Value Proposition: this is how a business is defined and differentiated from its competition
  • Venture Capital: this is funding from businesses which provide private equity to young businesses with long-term potential

👉 If you have a great, young sports tech business, you should learn more about The Startups here