Is There A Distinction Between Seed and Early Stage

Question: When pitching a site, what are the distinctions between the seed and early stages of development? Any information about number of users, progress through product development, and progress developing executive team would be greatly appreciated.

A (Brad): Not really.  Seed usually refers to the very earliest stages, although it’s hard to define a clear distinction between the two.  In both seed and early stage, it’s typically expected that some part of the equation will be missing.  The team might be incomplete, the product might be a prototype, the number of users might be constrained by be a closed alpha.  In all cases, the definition of “seed” vs. “early stage” is kind of irrelevant – it’s well understood that you are at the very beginning of the process.

  • Ken

    Long time reader, first time commenter.
    I’m out pitching my latest startup, and I seem to have found a fairly clear delineation. While both are in the earliest of stages, SEED is generally the “scribble on a napkin” to just about to launch phase, while EARLY is usually you’ve launched something, even if it is an alpha, and are getting a bit of traction or some type of market validation.
    That being said, some early stage investors who I have pitched say they do early and it also includes pre-launch investing. However, these “seed” investments are generally reserved for those returning entrepreneurs, people they have some type of comfort level or track record with. So even though they may not call it seed, they have a line in the sand (pre-launch)they will not cross for those they do not know.