When we think of start-ups, we immediately think of Silicon Valley, where several high funded high-risk tech start-ups are born every day. However, these aren’t the only type of start-ups in the world. Not all of them are based out of Silicon Valley, and not all of them receive billions in funding. Based on their growth aspects, business models and funding requirements, start-ups are classified into several categories.
Start-ups based on Passion: Lifestyle
Today, the numbers of lifestyle entrepreneurs have increased significantly. Such businesses rely on the founder’s knowledge, network, and experience. Lifestyle businesses might be started by people who have retired from big jobs. These people use their experience and want to work for themselves while pursuing their passion; of course, they might have a few support staff depending on the size and structure of operation.
UI and UX developers, photographers, stylists, designers do what they do because their line of work is their passion. They can pursue their passion and can still pay their bills. They might have big dreams but will never give up their passion.
Start-ups to secure a local market: Small Businesses
Such entrepreneurs want to make a living and support their family. Small businesses are usually started with the owner’s savings, and they rarely receive any external funding. The owner wants a secured place in the local market and looks to sustain the business by making a decent profit. Such businesses rarely have the potential to make billion-dollar breaks. Our friendly neighborhood grocery store is a classic example of such small businesses.
Start-ups intended to be Big: Scalable Start-up
These start-ups are founded by an ambitious class of entrepreneurs, who believe that they have found the next ‘big idea’ to shake and disrupt the market. The innovative clusters in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, New York and Shanghai, to name a few, are known for their ambitious goals of changing the world. In contrast with small businesses, they are not interested in making a living, but in registering a business model that has billion-dollar pay-offs. There are big brains behind start-ups; their job is to build a sustainable business model from a mere vision. There are high risks and high funding involved, fuelling their rapid expansion. They are a ‘start-up’ only temporarily, they dream of scaling heights and becoming the next big deal. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook come from such start-up roots.
Start-ups for large companies: Buyable Businesses
How do large companies manage to stay afloat? They sustain themselves by innovating and offering new products like FSSAI for the food product licensing system. They have to stay abreast with customer’s perceptions, needs, and tastes. There is constant pressure for them to create new products that disrupt the market. Such disruptive innovation is what Google and Apple bank on, and spends millions on research and development. Not all companies choose to do this R&D internally. So, to stay afloat, they buy innovative start-ups. A classic example is that of Facebook; they acquired Instagram and Whatsapp to continue to be market leaders. Founders of innovative start-ups want the freedom to create and invent. They spend their time on developing new technology and products, only to be acquired by big companies. Once that’s done, they move to their next project.
Start-ups with heart: Social Ventures
Social entrepreneurs don’t want to make millions but want to change the lives of billions. They are philanthropists at heart, and they don’t aim to create wealth. They are usually organized as NGOs (non-government organizations) or non-profit ventures.