Differentiating Tech Startups from Service Providers

At the Atlanta Tech Village we’re reserving 80% of the space for tech companies and tech startups while leaving 20% for tech-related service providers. Of course, the next question that comes up is “how do you define a tech startup?” Some companies that we believe fall in the service provider category claim they are actually a tech startup, so we’ve been debating how best to handle it and have a few ideas.

Here are some ideas on how to differentiate between a tech startup and a tech-related service provider:

  • Tech startups generate the majority of their revenue from proprietary technology
  • Tech startups have a scalable product and actively strive for a reproducible customer acquisition process
  • Tech startups have product managers and software engineers on staff (service providers could have them but rarely do)

We don’t have all the answers but we’re actively working on ideas. Over time, we’ll have a better understanding and ways to clearly differentiate tech startups from service providers.

What else? What are some other ideas to differentiate tech startups from service providers?

3 thoughts on “Differentiating Tech Startups from Service Providers

  1. You may want to add a start-up that is not a pure tech play. there could be something to learn from having that type of company around.

  2. I’m glad to hear that you’re not completely shutting out services companies. The overall stigma against service providers saddens me. I guess a few over-aggressive or under-scrupulous providers have poisoned the well for everyone.

    As to your definition, it makes me chuckle a little, as software engineers are the only staff we have. 🙂

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