All Portuguese people know that “it’s by talking that we understand each other!” and this is also our motto at Startup Portugal. For this, we all need to be sure of the meaning of each term used in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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  • EARLY STAGE STARTUP: A Startup with VC funds to develop the idea and prove the value proposition.
  • DEEP TECH: Solutions created with the expressed objective of providing technology solutions based on substantial scientific or engineering challenges.
  • PORTUGUESE UNICORN: A startup created within the Portuguese ecosystem, valued at more than one billion dollars, based in Portugal or having a Portuguese founder.
  • SCALE UP: Startup already in an advanced stage of maturity, with sales, an international strategy and/or invested by venture capital, in a phase of exponential growth.
  • SPIN OFF: A Startup firstly born from a department/area within another company or university.
  • STARTUP: Company with less than 10 years, with a digital based idea that can scale easily. The legal definition of a Startup is being debated in the Portuguese Parliament and can be found here (in Portuguese).
  • UNICORN:A Startup valued at more than 1 Billion US Dollars in an investment round.
  • VENTURE CAPITAL: Venture Capital Funds are autonomous assets, without legal personality, that belong to the holders of the respective shares, run by a managing body (in this case Portugal Ventures), that invest own equity (and sometimes debt financing) instruments, for a limited time, in companies that have high growth potential, in hopes of benefiting from their respective valuation. These operations are regulated and supervised by the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM).(source: Portugal Ventures)
  • WOMEN-LED VENTURE: A Startup with a woman on the leadership or as a founder with an acting role.

*This glossary is being constantly updated.