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The Startup Jargon Glossary

A handy guide for deciphering tech-scene talk


Atlanta entrepreneurs have a tight-knit community with its very own language. If phrases such as "leverage the ecosystem" and "serendipitous interaction" are foreign tongue, this dictionary of startup jargon should do the trick.

Accelerator n. An organization that enrolls entrepreneurs into a mentorship program and supplies some capital in exchange for equity. See: incubator.

Angel investor n. An obscenely wealthy person who provides startups with loads of cash for a piece of ownership.

Bootstrap v. To found a company without external funding or resources.

Brogrammer n. The hybrid of an archetypal programmer (a quiet and nerdy individual) and a frat boy, who crushes lines of code every day.

Ecosystem n. All the people, places, and moving parts of a startup community.

Hack v. To find a quick fix to a problem with limited resources.

Hackathon n. An event where programmers, designers, and others work together in a limited time frame to create a software project from scratch. They often include themes, food, and prizes.

Incubator n. A program that helps foster new startups, providing access to resources and a community, in hopes of making them successful. See: accelerator.

Leverage v. To use something (i.e., a relationship or an asset) to one's advantage.

Pivot v. To alter a business strategy in hopes of finding the right costumers.

Seed round n. A small amount of funding a startup may raise early in its existence.

Serendipitous interaction n. The idea that entrepreneurs can increase social capital by packing companies into close proximity of one another, spontaneously running into one another with greater frequency.

VC Fund n. Shorthand for venture capital fund, a pooled investment that gives cash to startups in exchange for private equity.

Wantrepreneur n. A person who desires an entrepreneurial lifestyle, but hasn't gone through the pains of starting a business.

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