The Entreprelingo Series: D and E

Someone new to the world of entrepreneurship will notice right away that entrepreneurs have an interesting way of speaking. From “unicorn” to “bootstrapping” to “foodpreneur,” entrepreneurs use a lot of strange language to describe what they do.

By combining words, or by assigning new meaning to old ones, they have created a whole new vocabulary to better communicate their needs and ideas in an ever-evolving ecosystem.

The Entreprelingo Series is an effort to fill our readers in on some of the weirder — or less straightforward — terms you’re sure to hear in an entrepreneurial environment. So far, we’ve covered “A” through “C.” This week, we’re tackling the next couple of letters, “D” and “E.”

Debt Financing

Getting a loan to fund your business. Debt financing is a method of financing through which no ownership of the company is lost; however, it often requires some kind of collateral or agreement between the lender and the business owner.

Deep Dive

Deep dive is a brainstorming method in which a team of people are deeply immersed in a process or idea.


This is a project management term that refers to the quantifiable goods or services that will be available to customers once a project is complete.


To disrupt is to break into a specific market with a game-changing product or service. Disruptive businesses are often high-risk because they require customers to change their behavior; however, this risk may later yield a higher payout.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is investigating before investing; it is the process of auditing a business and its financial liabilities before investing.

Early Adopters

The beta testers and trendsetters of society, early adopters are those who begin using a product or service as soon as it becomes available. This term is part of the Diffusion of Innovation Theory; early adopters fall near the front of the innovations bell curve.


Your EBITDA is your earnings before interest, taxes, depreciations and amortizations.

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a sales pitch that is deliverable in the amount of time it would take one to ride an elevator to the top floor of a building. Usually only 30 seconds to a minute long, elevator pitches are succinct, persuasive and introduce the company’s product or service and its value proposition.

Emerging Technologies

A term used to describe technologies that have the potential to change society as a whole. Examples include artificial intelligence, stem cell therapy and nanotechnology.

Enterprise Value

This is your company’s total value, calculated by adding the market value of common stock, market value of preferred equity, market value of debt and minority interest, minus cash and investments.


An entrepreneur is one who takes risks, builds and organizes ventures that may capitalize on specific opportunities. They are self-starters who see needs and seek ways to meet those needs.

Equity Financing

Equity financing is the practice of trading ownership in your company for capital or assets. The most common method of equity financing is selling shares.

Evangelist (or Business Evangelist)

This is a person who believes so strongly in a company’s good or service that they try to convince others to buy and use it by using word-of-mouth marketing techniques.

Exit Strategy

The strategy by which a business owner limits loss once he or she “exits” the market. The exit strategy may be executed when a company fails to generate a profit, or even when a venture meets its profit objective. Exit strategies may also be executed during extreme market changes, or if the owner wishes to cut ties with the business.

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