In venture capital terminology, the term Start-Up refers to a newly formed company which has not yet been in operation for any significant period of time. A Start-Up company is generally in the research and development phase before the operational and production phases begin.
For example, many companies which are now household names were once Start-Up companies. Names such as Microsoft and Apple Computer began as Start-Ups and created hundreds of millionaires, and even a few billionaires, once their shares were offered to the public in their Initial Public Offerings. Needless to say, the stock offered initially to a few lucky investors in these companies is now worth billions of dollars. Start-Ups make up the entrepreneurial sector of the economy and offer the highest potential return of any investment vehicle, sometimes producing percentage returns on investment results which can be in the thousands.