10 Entrepreneurs Share How They Came Up With Their Startup Name

Businessman having a brainstorming session at an office.

A great startup name isn’t only an integral part of branding and marketing; it quickly tells the customer who the company is and what they do. But, determining a name for your startup that is both memorable and easy to understand can be challenging. Fortunately, these startup founders are here to help you decide by sharing how they chose their startup names.


How 10 Founders Chose Their Startup Name

1. GO, Michael Beauchamp

“We used to be called Frank, but it was too confusing. GO is all positivity. It's not about the process of getting your car but about where you GO in it.”

See our complete interview with Michael Beauchamp of GO.

2. Bodha.ai, Karl Cadet

“My partner Sathish is of Indian descent. We are both fond of Buddhist philosophy as a positive message for self-knowledge and discovery. He suggested the name as an expression of gratefulness.”

Read the full interview with Karl Cadet of Bodha.ai.

3. Hypnos Virtual, Mike (Kaz) Kaczkowski

“Hypnos is the Greek god for sleep and the father of dreams through his son Morpheus. Hypnos Virtual creates experiences that are so immersive and real, as if one is asleep within dreams.”

Check out our whole interview with Mike (Kaz) Kaczkowski of Hypnos Virtual.

4. Bucephalus, Nicholas DeGiacomo

“Coming from the Greek word for ox head, Bucephalus was a branding mark placed on animals as a mark of trade. It was also the name of Alexander the Great’s horse. Originally thought to be untamable, Alexander calmed the Thessalian steed during a wager and rode Bucephalus over 20,000 miles from Greece to India — at the front of every major battle to build his empire.

Many SMB retailers and DTC brands see their supply chain operations as equally untamable — a gordian knot of complexity. They need Bucephalus to build an empire of their own.”

Read the complete interview with Nicholas DeGiacomo of Bucephalus.

5. Nektar.ai, Abhijeet Vijayvergiya

“Nektar is also called Amrit (elixir) — the drink of the gods in Sanskrit. It is valuable. Honey is also called Nektar, which is made by honeybees who work hard to convert pollen into something valuable, just like sales reps work hard and deliver money (revenue) for the organization.

We are a product built for sales teams and felt Nektar belonged to us as a company name.”

See our full interview with Abhijeet Vijayvergiya of Nektar.ai.

6. oVice, Sae Hyung Jung

“Since the goal was to build our own virtual office that is based on spatial audio, we combined the words ‘voice’ and ‘office’ to call it ‘oVice.’”

Check out the whole interview with Sae Hyung Jung of oVice.

7. Leaf Trade, James Yi

“Those two words just perfectly sum up what we’re all about: Leaf Trade. When you hear it for the first time, you probably already know what we do for our customers – we help them in the wholesale cannabis trade. The name came about early in my thoughts about the kinds of technical innovations I wanted to bring to the cannabis industry that was forming in Illinois at the time.”

Read the complete interview with James Yi of Leaf Trade.

8. Privee, Josh Gottesman

“We came up with the name Privee through trial and error as we brainstormed a variety of names with privacy connotations. We landed on Privee as it's spelt very similarly to ‘Privée,'’ which means private in French and is pronounced as ‘Privy,’ which in English means ‘sharing in the knowledge of something secret or private.’ We also got feedback from [prospective] users, and they liked the name and felt it very clearly conveys privacy.”

See our complete interview with Josh Gottesman of Privee.

9. Rentround, Rajdeep Dosanjh

“As I wanted to keep the initial spend[ing] low, I was looking for any domain with the word 'rent' included. Most good ones were taken or very expensive to buy. I thought Rentround had a nice ring to it. However, I have kind of shot myself in the foot with the name as we've since expanded Rentround to comparing selling agents. But, it doesn't seem to be causing an issue for the growth of that stream.”

Check out our whole interview with Rajdeep Dosanjh of Rentround.

10. Pabio, Anand Chowdhary

“We were previously named Koj because Carlo came up with the short and sweet name we all loved. As we started to grow and tell people about our brand, we realized two major issues with it: first, Koj is pronounced like "koi" (as in "koi pond"), so people didn’t know it’s spelt with a ‘J’ (like the Europeans do!). And second, we didn't own the .com. This meant that if we tell people — even specifically — to go to koj-dot-co, they would still end up going to koj.com, which we didn't have. We tried buying the domain, but no luck. 

As we started brainstorming new names, we had over 100 options until Anand found Pabio, a name that was as friendly as us! Although people still pronounce it in different ways — we like to say ˈpɑːbɪəʊ (rhymes with "Pablo"), though some of our Americans friends like to say ˈpæbɪəʊ (rhymes with "patio"), but however you say it, it's friendly and memorable … and when we say we work at Pabio, they always go to Pabio.com!”

See the full interview with Anand Chowdhary of Pabio.

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