We run on Crunchbase data and they've create a handy glossary of terms for each of these categories.

The key ones to know are:


Mentorship and guidance for startups, generally over 3-4 months, who will make a small investment and/or take equity in exchange for their services. Examples: YCombinator, Techstars.


High net worth individual that makes direct investments into startups. Examples: Max Levchin, Jason Calacanis

Angel Group

Network of high net worth individuals who manage deal flow on their behalf and generally hold regular pitch events for their members. Examples: Angels in MedCity, QVentures

Corporate Venture Capital

VC arms of corporates, generally making investments into relevant startups in their sector. Examples: Google Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, BP Ventures

Entrepreneurship Programme

Programme that focuses on mentorship for founders as they start businesses. Examples: Pitch@Palace, InnovateUK

Family Investment Office

Office that manages funds on behalf of high net worth families or groups of families. They make a broad range of investments, from property to public markets to private equity, and sometimes directly into startups. Examples: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Smedvig Capital, Winklevoss Capital


Venture Capital firms who raise funds of $100m or less to invest in earlier stage investments (pre-series B). Examples: Mercia, Seedcamp, Backstage Capital

Private Equity Firm

Investment firm that invests in private markets (ie in companies that are not listed in public stock exchanges). These investments are generally not in early stage startups, though they may get involved in later rounds. Examples: Blackstone, KKR

Venture Capital

Investment firm that focus on investing equity into startups. They generally come in from Series A, and have a larger fund size (ie more money to invest) than a Micro VC. Examples include: Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, Sequoia Capital

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