Discover what a startup is, main features and what it takes to create yours – WAU

Startups are on the rise. We live in a scenario of large investments, new solutions for the market and the emergence of new companies at all times. However, what makes a business a startup? They have their own characteristics and they must be understood.

Have you ever wondered what a startup is? Currently, much is heard about this new model of company that has been so successful and has achieved high investments.

All this highlighting, however, is justified. They have increasingly dominated the market, always with innovative proposals, a young spirit, and fully adapted to the trends of digital transformation.

Basically, anyone can get started with creating a startup – of course, if they can fulfill the main requirements. They are quite different, for example, from newly opened small companies, and much of this is related to the expectations they generate.

How about understanding more about startups and discovering why they are so successful? Find out more below!

What is a startup?

Startups are startups, with a young approach and already fully adapted to the digital model, so important nowadays. Despite being small, they bring innovative proposals, be it for services or products.

A very common question is regarding their success. Few people understand how they stand out so much, even recently launched on the market, but that has an explanation.

The proposal of startups is precisely generate impact through something new and with great possibilities for development. These are ideas with good chances of succeeding and, if they do, they have everything to be leaders and great players in their markets.

This prominent start draws the attention of investors, which is a crucial point when it comes to startups. Many entrepreneurs start these businesses in search of investments for their ideas. This is a very common practice for this type of company.

However, this financial contribution only happens if the proposal is really differentiated, without any precedent in the market and with good chances of succeeding. This draws the attention of investors, who trust these new proposals.

Does the startup carry this label forever?

This is a common question for anyone looking to know what a startup is. However, this classification is only given to newly founded companies that will still have their activities tested in the market.

If it works and stabilizes, achieving success, naturally, it is no longer a startup, since it reached its main objective.

What are the characteristics of a startup?

To understand what a startup is, it is essential to pay attention to some fundamental characteristics of this type of company. They will help to better visualize the business model we are talking about, and you can even remember some that are already on the market. Check out!


Startups are scalable, that is, they have broad possibility of growth, doing so without consequences for its operations.

This scalability occurs mainly because they are companies with operations native to the digital environment. Thus, its services and products can be delivered to more and more customers without this requiring more efforts or even mandatory investments.


This characteristic means that the same product or service can be offered on a large scale, without any limitations. For this, it is important that what the company offers is not flexible or customizable. The proposal is to multiply and reach more customers. Therefore, adaptations would hinder these goals.


Innovation is the main characteristic of startups. They bring services that have always been needed, but that have never been thought of before. The same happens with products, which serve as sure solutions for the different demands of society. Innovating is the first step of a company that wants to launch itself as a startup.


For bringing something different to the market, these companies also do not have a well-defined direction with regard to success. Despite being solid proposals and with a great chance of having good results, there are no precedents that help to have a clearer perspective of the future.


Disruptive, startups break standards in relation to other companies in the same segment. This comes through forms of service, fees and even the way services are provided. The proposal is, precisely, to escape from what the market offers, to stand out and have the necessary competitiveness.


This was the main characteristic observed in the early 2000s, in Silicon Valley, when the term startup started to be used to classify certain companies.

Most of the time, companies inserted in the context of digital entrepreneurship have their performance through the Web, dispensing with physical points and the need to travel to attend and any other requests. Usually, they are 100% digital businesses.


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What differentiates startups and small businesses?

In the search to know what a startup is, many people wonder about the difference between them and the small companies that are also launching themselves in the market.

Despite being a very plausible question, there is a basic conceptual difference that makes startups really different: they bring innovation to a specific market.

If you open a hostel, for example, it is just another model of lodging establishment.

On the other hand, if you launch an application that connects people in search of where to stay with those who want to rent their residence or some room, then there is an innovative idea. In addition to bringing something new and never seen before on the market, there is the fact that it is entirely digital.

Which startups serve as good examples?

How about meeting some successful companies that fit this classification? There is no better way to understand what a startup is! Meet some world famous people that you are probably already familiar with and have come across advertising ads, or maybe even use some of their services!


In the hospitality industry, Airbnb has enabled people from all over the world to open their homes to receive travelers. If you have a vacant property or an empty room, it is possible to shelter someone for a certain time, making money from it.

The company acts in a totally digital way, through its application or through the website. Profit comes from the fees charged on each rental!


Despite being considered just an IT company, Uber has become one of the transportation giants. In the same format as Airbnb, it connects private drivers to passengers looking for races across the city, anywhere in the world.

Its emergence generated great competitiveness for taxis, giving the public one more option, which ended a decades-long monopoly.


Sympla is a company that launched a platform aimed at those who want to hold an event. Through its solution, anyone can take care of several stages of organization. It allows you to sell tickets, manage confirmations and work in full control, all through the application and your web dashboard.


At a time when illegal music download sites were being hunted, Spotify arrived with a sure solution: a streaming platform, in which its users pay a monthly fee and have access to a huge selection of songs.

Thus, Spotify has consolidated itself and, despite winning several competitors, it is still the largest company in its segment.

How to start a startup?

A startup can be started by anyone, as long as the main steps to start are followed. From the idea to the search for investments, all are indispensable. Get to know each one better!

Have an innovative idea

Do you have any ideas that can work? If so, great! If not, it’s not yet time to think about a startup. They revolve around innovative products and services. If you tend to have good thoughts and are attentive to services that can work, sooner or later, incredible ideas will come up. Be aware!

Start testing

Every startup starts from a prototype phase, in which the business model is tested within its target audience, but in a reduced sample. Launch this basic version and observe the results it obtains, while analyze public reaction in relation to it.

Consider moving forward

The testing phase will bring the answers you were looking for regarding the viability of your idea. If it made sense and the business performed well in that initial moment, this may be the necessary seal to continue with your startup idea.

From these tests, it is also possible and important to make adaptations to arrive at the final model of your company.

Search for partners

Starting alone is always very difficult. Companies need different skills to be run, so you will certainly have to turn to a partner, that is, a future partner.

Search for trusted people within your networking and who have the skills complementary capabilities to your. This guarantees the efficiency of your startup when launched on the market.

Capture investments

Raising investments is a fundamental part of a startup’s work. Large entrepreneurs, investment funds and other companies are generally interested in investing. Present your idea in a solid way and keep an eye out for opportunities to count on these contributions.

Now you know what a startup is and you can start putting your idea into practice! Be aware of the characteristics of these businesses so that your idea works well. Use the big successful companies as inspiration and go after your goals!

To get started, take advantage and get to know the Google service to help kick-start your startup!