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A newly formed business with particular momentum behind it, based on perceived demand for its product or service. The intention of a startup is to grow rapidly as a result of offering something that addresses a particular market gap.

In the early stages, startup companies' expenses tend to exceed their revenues as they work on developing, testing and marketing their idea: the essence of startups is generally related to the concepts of ambition, innovation, scalability, and growth.

Paul Graham says that "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."