Upstarts (q.v.) (verb: an upstart, small member of a grouping, firm, etc) is a term often used to describe young politicians, celebrities, and business people who are considered “heavies” in their field. Upstarts (n.) a small upstart; an upstart company; an upstage individual.
Why are they called “upstarts”? Upstarts were originally chosen to describe the new generation of leaders who were either just emerging from a small business or had been in that role for a long time. Over time this phrase has come to include any newly formed leader, regardless of their experience in government or business. Today it’s applied to anyone new to the stage of public life, particularly people who have risen to a considerable height within their given field. The reason being that they lack the managerial skills, social skills, and perhaps even the ambition of someone who has been in the trenches for years.
So, what are the common characteristics of upstarts? Upstarts differ from traditional startups in many ways. Typically, they lack managerial skills, experience in business, experience in marketing, and even basic computer skills. Because of this they typically rely on either a student-led startup accelerator program or on a combination of student and staff support. In a student-led startup accelerator program, an upstage venture capitalist will provide seed money to help finance the startup.
The upstage venture capitalist will look for signs that the business idea has a real chance of success such as a solid product, a strong sales plan, qualified prospects, a market with plenty of potential buyers, and a business plan worthy of going to market. If a venture capitalist does decide to fund an upstage upstart, he will want to see a concrete plan of action. A student-led startups accelerator program typically will provide seed money and then work with the upstarts to map out a business strategy to take them from start to market. This approach allows both the student and the venture capitalist to focus on building a business that is legitimate and has a chance of making a profit. Venture capitalists may not necessarily look at the startup as a large business, but more of a real business that requires considerable resources to get started.
The upstarts that end up going through a student accelerator program are not usually all that impressive, though. The problem with these startups is that they were not backed by proper funding sources in the beginning. Therefore, they do not have the skills to be able to deal with a variety of challenges that come with entrepreneurship, they lack the experience to deal with various aspects of running a business, and they lack the ambition to continually pursue new opportunities. It is rare to find a startup that has the creativity and drive to take a piece of a technology pie and create a wildly successful business out of it. Venture capitalists want to see that a startup has the right motivation and can quickly and effectively pursue multiple endeavors.
Student loans are often used to finance the launches of upstarts. The rates of interest on these loans are much higher than traditional bank loans because they are riskier investments. It may not make sense for a bank to provide a bank loan for something that has a 50% chance of going bankrupt within five years. That makes student loans originated from a student accelerator programme especially attractive because they carry a significantly lower risk level.