Early Stage


The primary difference between a raw start-up company and an early-stage company is evidence of business progress. Early-stage companies are characterized by the following attributes. They:

  • Have a corporate organization in place, typically a “C” corporation;
  • May have received one or more rounds of funding from company founders, their families or local angel investors
  • May have filed patent applications;
  • May have developed a successful product or service prototype; A prototype also could be a first restaurant that will serve as the basis for expansion financing
  • Have some impressive evidence that there are highly interested first adopters or customers in place for the company’s technologies, products or services. Here entrepreneurs have to prove that customers — preferably large numbers of them — will buy from the company. Entrepreneurs shift their talking points here from what they “think” to what they “know”  
  • Have a clearly defined commercialization and sales strategy in place.
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