Accelerator, bootstrapping, MVP - you get dizzy just reading through these terms and always wanted to know
always wanted to know what's behind them?


Perfect - we have created a glossary with various technical terms around the topics of innovation, startup and foundation,

so that you too can join in the discussion in expert panels in the future. Have fun browsing!







A facility or institution that helps startups develop quickly over a specific period of time through coaching and - as the name suggests - accelerates them on their path to success.


Adoption Life Cycle

Cycle explaining the different phases and types of users in the adoption of a new product or service. According to the number of users, there are: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards.


AR (Augmented Reality)

Augmented reality is the computer-based extension of the real environment by e.g. virtual objects.



Collaborative mindset for problem solving based on customer focus, adaptability and continuous improvement through rapid prototyping and iterations.


Agile methods

Methods or frameworks that use Agile Methodology. The best known are: Design Thinking, Lean Start-Up, Business Model Generation, Kanban and Scrum.


Agile Project Management

Managing projects and teams with an Agile mindset and using Agile methodologies. It is an iterative approach to continuous improvement.




Intensive sessions on a specific topic. During the duration of the event (days or weeks, depending on the format), participants learn about the topic from experts and apply their knowledge to various projects.


B2B and B2C

B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customer) describes different sales channels at companies. In B2B, goods or services are sold to other companies as a target group (e.g. HR software for companies). B2C refers to the relationship between the company and the consumer (e.g. sale of sporting goods directly to the end consumer).


Business Angel

Private investors, often (former) founders themselves, who usually invest in promising start-ups at an early stage.



Form of financing from the start-up sector, which describes the financing of the start-up purely from the company's own resources, i.e. without external funds and investors. 


Big Data

Term for a large amount of data that every company accumulates in the course of its life cycle. This can include unstructured and structured data. 


Burn rate

Rate at which the available money is "burned". It is used to calculate when the company - given the existing cost and revenue situation - will run out of money.


Business Model Canvas

Popular tool by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur around nine elements to define and document a business model.


Business Roadmap

Visualization tool to show the future development of the start-up or company. 



Group technique to spontaneously find ideas or solve a specific problem.



Circular Design

Describes the design of services of products based on analogous to the circular economy model.


CTA (Call to Action)

Describes a call to action in marketing. In online marketing, classically represented by a button or a contact form.


CTR (Click-Through Rate)

Classic key figure in online marketing that represents the number of clicks on a link, banner, ad, etc. in relation to the total impressions. 



Form of financing in which various people (often private individuals) support a company or project and generally receive material or financial compensation in return. Popular platforms include Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Startnext.


Conversion rate

Classic key figure in online marketing that puts all visitors to a website in relation to a specific action, such as a product sale.


Content marketing

Marketing method in which, in contrast to the usual marketing strategy, the focus is not on the product, but on the content, such as blog articles, training content, etc. Content marketing is generally used to promote a product or service. Content marketing is generally used to increase awareness, build a brand or create a community and is not primarily intended to encourage people to buy a product or service.


CI (Corporate Design)

Describes the visual appearance of a company, represents the guidelines of the company's appearance and includes, for example, the use of the logo, fonts to be used and defined colors of the company. 



Design thinking

Customer-centric and iterative method for developing ideas and products and solving problems.


Digitization / Digital transformation

Process of moving from analog processes to digital processes. 



Innovation that replaces the tried and tested and can profoundly change entire industries, e.g. VHS >> streaming.



Early Stage (and Later Stage)

Generic terms in venture capital financing for the early company phases of seed and startup stage and the later financing phase, respectively.


Elevator pitch

Short presentation of one's own idea in about one minute - the name comes from the idea of convincing a potential investor during an elevator ride.


EntreComp Framework

Framework developed by the European Commission to establish a common definition of entrepreneurship as a set of responsibilities. It consists of 3 domains ("Ideas and Opportunities", "Resources" and "In Action") and 15 competencies along an 8-step progression model.



English word for entrepreneurship, which summarizes activities of entrepreneurial thinking and action.



Exit of investors or founders from the company by selling the shares held in the company.





When something does not go as planned and there is an opportunity to start over. In the world of entrepreneurship, "Failure" is a part of life and we must learn to deal with it rather than avoid it.



Abbreviation for "Family, Friends, and Fools" as the first source of funding for startups.



A funnel is a model for visualizing processes that is often used in marketing. It describes the path and the touchpoints of e.g. customers from the first contact to the purchase of a product.



Game-based learning

Learning technique or process in which games are used as a tool for students to learn by doing and repeating.




Event in which programmers (hackers) come together to work on problems and program solutions to them.


Field hockey Stick

The curve in which a company's development goes down for a short time and then continues up steeply for a long time.


Human-Centered Design

Describes an approach to (digital) product development that focuses on the user and his/her needs. The aim of the methodology is to develop products/services that are as user-friendly as possible.




Industry 4.0

Digitization of industry through new, intelligent and modern technologies.



A facility or institution that accompanies and supports budding entrepreneurs in various ways on their path to self-employment. The term originally comes from medicine, where an incubator refers to a kind of incubator to create optimal conditions for newborns to grow up. These programs can also be understood in a figurative sense for startups.



Introduction of a new device, process or material for its commercial or practical application that creates value for its parts.



Is made up of the words entrepreneurship and intracorporate and describes action within a company that is characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit. 


Incremental innovation

Slight improvements to something that already exists.



IPO stands for Initial Public Offering and means the first public offering of shares on the stock exchange. 



Generally describes the process of repeating the same or similar actions multiple times. 


IoT (Internet of Things

Collective term for the network of physical objects that are connected to a network (e.g., the Internet) via appropriate interfaces (software, sensors, etc.) in order to exchange data.







Describes the "starting signal" for a project or undertaking.


Artificial intelligence

The attempt to teach machines to think and develop intelligence like humans. It is also a research and development area of computer science and sciences.



Method for project management that focuses on the number of parallel tasks and is intended to help generate shorter lead times and make bottlenecks quickly visible.


KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

Key performance indicators that are of particular importance to the start-up and are to be evaluated on an ongoing basis. 




Lean Startup

A theory for creating "lean startups", based on Eric Ries's book of the same name. The core element is the use of agile methods and digital technologies.





How well solution and problem/customer/market fit together.


MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Describes online courses used primarily in adult education, which are usually accessible to a large audience.


MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

Abbreviation for "Minimal Viable Product". First prototype that is tested quickly in a limited market with incomplete but essential functionality.










Refers to a user model that characterizes people or target groups in terms of their characteristics in order to develop tailored products and services.



Presentation of an idea or a company, which is usually popular due to its short and concise presentation of the start-up.


Pitch Deck

Document made of slides that presents the most important information of a start-up, such as problem, solution, product, business model, etc.



Pivot is a substantial change in the direction or business model of a start-up.


Proof of Concept (PoC)

A proof of principle of the feasibility of a project or a concrete approach.



A model that is intended to visualize an idea and demonstrate that something is feasible in principle. Prototypes are used to obtain and test reactions from potential users or investors.








ROI (Return on Investment)

Key figure that indicates when an investment has paid off. Classically used by investors when investing in start-ups. 




Scalability. When revenue can be increased without a corresponding increase in costs.



Scrum is an agile framework for developing, deploying and maintaining complex products. It was originally intended for software development, but now it is being applied to other areas.


Serial Entrepreneur

A founder who has founded more than one startup.


Smart Money

Investments from investors, which in addition to financial resources also include knowledge and the investor's network. The startup buys the additional knowledge of the investor.



Term for a spin-off of a startup or company from another company or university. 



Stakeholders are all interest and participation groups of a company or startup that play a role in the current and future development of a company.





Technique for market segmentation to find the markets that could be reached and targeted.




Designation for start-ups that have reached a market valuation of at least US$1 billion, such as Airbnb, Flixbus, Celonis.



Abbreviation for user experience. All aspects of a user's impressions and experiences when interacting with a product, service, environment or facility. The term is typically used for apps and websites.


USP (Unique Value Proposition). 

Represents the unique selling point(s) in positioning a service that differentiates the service, company, or product from offerings by competitors. 



Value Proposition

Describes the value proposition, i.e., the added value that a product or service generates for the customer through the purchase.


Venture capital

Refers to equity capital for startups that investors invest in companies outside of stock exchanges. 


VR (Virtual Reality)

Virtual Reality - i.e., virtual reality or the simulated reality experience in a computer-generated, interactive, real-time virtual environment.


VUCA world

VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. These are the challenges that companies face in an increasingly digitalized world.



Waterfall model 

Traditional model in project management with structured, sequential phases.