Everything You Need to Know About Startups

  • Business
  • October 25, 2022
Everything You Need to Know About Startups
If you want to know the origin of the word startup, the differences between a startup and an SME, and other details related to terms used in the digital landscape, then keep reading.

In our fast-paced, rapidly changing and evolving world, many people are getting involved in startup businesses, which are different from traditional businesses. “Startup” is a word that is increasingly used by the new generation, including business people. But what exactly is a startup? And is it anything more than just a trendy word for “business”?

If you want to know the origin of the word startup, the differences between a startup and an SME, and other details related to terms used in the digital landscape, then keep reading.

What Is a Startup? How Is It Different From an SME?

At its core, a startup is a small company founded by one or more entrepreneurs. The goal is to create a unique product or service and rapidly innovate. But let's further examine the definition of a startup.

A startup is an emerging company that is operating in the first stage of its business development plan. It is often funded by a large corporation or independent investors during this phase. The startups we all know tend to start their businesses with two key attributes:

  1. Repeatable: A good repeatable startup needs a business model that can solve the problems consumers are having while drawing them back in and changing their behavior.
  2. Scalable: A successful startup business model also needs to be scalable. This means that it needs to be able to rapidly expand its customer base both locally and internationally while adding new features to grow in larger markets.

Now let's look at the many kinds of startups that there are today. You will find that most focus on doing business by offering new products or services that meet the market demand. Advances in e-commerce, communication, medical, and entertainment have come to facilitate and create new consumer behaviors and have led technology to play an increasingly important role in life.

SMEs, or small and medium-sized enterprises, are considered important to the development of the country and have been supported by the government for a long time. They can be divided into three types:

  1. SMEs that manufacture products process raw materials from both the agricultural and industrial sectors and turn them into products.
  2. SMEs in trade do not produce their own products, but buy products for both wholesale and retail sales.
  3. Service SMEs focus on providing services in hospitality, insurance, event planning, etc.

The Most Popular Types of Startups

Scalable Startups

The first type of startup is one that you may be familiar with. When we talk about scalable startups, a few different names of companies that have grown from startups to large enterprises with clients around the world may come to mind. Examples of scalable startups include Google, Facebook, and Twitter. These tech companies are scalable as they have incredibly powerful products and services, which helped them receive capital from investors and quickly grow and enter the global market.

Small Business Startups

This type of startup is generally founded by ordinary people who have used their own funds to start their business. Most of the time, these startups grow with time and opportunities that come their way, and they might only have a website but not an application. A few popular examples of small business startups include craft shops, bakeries, and travel package sellers.

Lifestyle Startups

People who have hobbies and like to work on the things they love often end up founding lifestyle startups. Some clear examples of this type of startup are dance, exercise, and yoga schools opened by people who are passionate about fitness and nutrition. They bring health lovers in for a course that keeps them in shape and in good health by exercising and eating well.

Buyable Startups

Believe it or not, many companies in the tech and software industry were originally designed to be sold to big companies like e-commerce giant Amazon or transportation platform provider Uber. Small startups with certain strengths can help their parent company be more competitive in the future.

Big Business Startups

Today, large companies are on the verge of losing their competitiveness due to technology, customer behavior, and new competitors in the market. These factors have led large corporations to transform their business models by offering innovative products or services that are responsive to the needs of modern customers.

Social Startups

As the name suggests, social startups are created to help and do good for society. An interesting example of this kind of startup is Blisser, a platform that connects users with famous people, such as celebrities, singers, etc. who sell their artwork, including pictures, drawings and exclusive videos. Some of the profits are donated to a charity that the buyer selects.

2 Things You May Not Know About Startups

1. Where and when did startups begin? 

We generally associate startups with the center of the world’s technology companies, Silicon Valley in California. This is where many startups began their journey into growing to become the giants they are today. For a historical example, you could look to International Business Machines (IBM), which was founded in 1911, or 111 years ago.

A few other examples of startups that emerged in the booming tech era of the late 90's include familiar big names like Amazon and Google. These companies used technology in tandem with the Internet boom, which they developed into products and services that changed the way of life for people around the world.

2. Where do startups end? 

Now that you know where startups began, you may be wondering when they end. The goal of starting a startup is to grow their business indefinitely until it becomes a large company (enterprise) with people who know and use products or services widely. The time it takes for a startup to get to that point typically takes around four to ten years, depending on when they meet all three of Alex Wilhelm's 50-100-500 rule. According to Wilheim, a company is no longer a startup when it has:

  1. Revenue equal to or greater than $50 million (1.8 billion THB).
  2. More than 100 employees.
  3. Valuation equal to or greater than $500 million ($18 billion THB).

True Digital Park is Ready to Support Your Startup Business

Whether you are pursuing your dream of founding a startup, or you have already established a startup and need someone who has knowledge and expertise to advise you, we at True Digital Park are ready to help you. Just come and talk to us directly.

At present, True Digital Park has at least four unicorns, a term describing startups worth more than 1 billion baht. These include:

  1. Ascend Money: Currently the only Thai FinTech startup that provides services across Southeast Asia, covering six countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. It owns TrueMoney and has more than 50 million users.
  2. Ninja Van: A Singapore-based logistics startup that received 20 billion baht in funding from Alibaba and other investors and serves six countries: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
  3. Carsome: A Malaysian startup that runs a used car trading business through a website and app platform. It received investments up to 10 billion baht and currently operates in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
  4. Cars24: An Indian used car trading startup that has received an investment of 7.2 billion baht and serves four countries: Thailand, India, United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

With an area of over 200,000 square meters at True Digital Park, we are ready to support startups and technology entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. As the largest startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia, we help drive startups, entrepreneurs, tech giants, investors, consultants, educational institutions, and government agencies compete effectively in the digital age.

True Digital Park also has a Startup Sandbox, a program that guides you through everything you need to know about establishing a startup from finding ideas and creating pitching materials to getting to know new partners, raising funds, and more. This is an area where you can develop yourself to successfully lead a startup that will help you accomplish your future goals. If you would like to consult us, click here.


  • Startup
  • SME
  • True Digital Park

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