An early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth company. Many of the companies seeking crowdfunding are startups. They typically consist of a founder and an idea, and are usually associated with new technology. They can become incredibly successful, like Google, Apple or Facebook, or go bust, like many companies in the dot com era. A company grows from being a startup as it passes certain milestones, such as becoming profitable, being purchased through a merger or acquisition, or becoming publicly traded in an IPO.