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When does a startup stop being a startup? It’s a tougher question than it seems — tech companies have found that there’s power in words. Let’s explore! — Anna

Startup versus scaleup

“We’re not a startup, we’re a scaleup,” marketing executive Cristina Marcos told me of her employer, interactive content creation platform Genially. This was actually one of the first things she said when we met in person earlier this week, and her emphasis really caught my attention.

On the one hand, it seems reasonable to say that a company like Genially, which has millions of users and raised more than $26 million in funding, is no longer a startup. On the other, “startup” is such a buzzword that it is interesting to see companies steering away from it.

That “scaleup” is Genially’s preferred term over “startup” is noteworthy. Joe Haslam, a professor at IE Business School in Madrid, has been arguing for almost a decade that “scaleup is the new startup.” But even he concedes that the “scaleup” term didn’t take off as much as he expected.





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