What is an Ultralight Startup?

Here’s our definition of an “ultralight startup”:

(Please note that this definition has nothing to do with who attends Ultra Light Startups events. Anyone can attend our events and anyone can pitch, as long as they meet the guidelines)

A Startup

  • A young company.  I’m not sure what the cutoff is.  Maybe 3-5 years?
  • Scalable. Startups achieve scalability by employing technology and/or media. Revenues scale with the number of users/subscribers/customers/clients/readers that the business can reach.  Costs (eg software developers, internet hosting, overhead, etc) scale independently from and slower than revenues.  Most web-based or mobile-based businesses are scalable this way.
    Startups can be contrasted with businesses where cost centers and revenue centers scale together.  For example, a law firm’s revenues scale with the number of attorneys it has on staff (generating billable hours) but its costs scale the same way (attorney salaries are generally the biggest expense of law firms).  Most “service provider” businesses (lawyers, accountants, consultants, PR firms, design firms, etc) have this characteristic.
  • Here is Wikipedia’s definition of a startup company.  There are some similarities to the above, but also some differences.


  • A for-profit business – not a 501(c)(3), etc.
  • A business that generates more revenues than costs, on an ongoing basis.


  • No external capital. The company has not received equity investment (eg. from venture capital firms or angel investors).  It’s entirely funded by the founders savings and/or the businesses ongoing operations.

Please note that Ultra Light Startups events are not restricted to employees of “ultralight startups”.  Anyone is welcome to attend and participate online.  The mission of the group is to profile, celebrate, and help ultralight startups and the entrepreneurs who found them.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron Sylvan June 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Once upon a time, I swear I heard that ULS required companies to have been founded (or executed) in less than one month (i.e. since the prior meeting)…  I don’t know if that was apocryphal, but I believed it and passed along that description to others — who almost universally said “wow, really cool!”.  I agree that “no external funding” makes a bit more sense… but it might be nice to at least feature one company in the “under 30 days” category.   Maybe called “featherlight”?  Or, since it’s less than a month old, “moonlight”? (nah, “moonlighting” means something else in this industry; it’s how almost every ultralight begins…)  Anyway, just ideas 🙂


Mark August 21, 2013 at 4:07 am

I saw your event Investor Feedback Forum on Eventbrite. Who is in charge of setting up this event? I have a quick question. Thank you! – Mark


Damn Quick MVPs September 22, 2013 at 3:11 am

We offer to build (web based) MVPs / demo sites damn quick and cheap.

Anyone interested can check us out at: http://httpd.co/damn_quick_mvps/



Alfred Dilamani May 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Does your group cater to consumer products?
We have developed and selling http://www.JetRyte.com a jet lag reliever.

Is your group only technology?
Alfred Dilamani


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }