Is it possible for startup companies to have Wikipedia pages? Using the company Instacart as an example, you will see that startup companies can qualify for Wikipedia pages.
Wikipedia pages can be difficult to create. In addition to understanding the guidelines for formatting, referencing, and style of writing, you must also understanding what qualifies a topic for inclusion on Wikipedia. It is difficult to create a new page on companies that have existed for many years. Logically, this means that it will be even more difficult to create Wikipedia pages for startup companies. However, many startups actually qualify for inclusion in Wikipedia and I will talk about how in the rest of this article.
The first and most scrutinized guideline that you must familiarize yourself with is notability. Wikipedia defines notability as a "test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article. You can find out more about notability by reading my earlier post titled What It Takes To Be Notable For Wikipedia. To make things simpler, you can remember that notability can be reached by showing that the topic has received significant coverage in reliable and independent sources. This means that the news media needs to be writing about your company. Press releases do not count as Wikipedia pages for startup companies would be created by everyone as every startup company has issued its share of press releases. Independent coverage that talks in detail about your company is the key here. To remember these guidelines, you can refer to Wikipedia's "answer to life, the universe, and everything." This is a good summary of what you will need to qualify for inclusion on Wikipedia.
Qualifying your company:
If you want to create a Wikipedia page, then you need to make sure that you meet notability guidelines. The quickest way to check this is to use a Google search. For the sake of this article, I will use the company Instacart. After reading about them in a TechCrunch article a few hours before writing this, I did a quick Google search to see if they would meet the guidelines. A quick search of the company located numerous sources, the following of which would all qualify as significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the topic.
- 7/10/13 - San Francisco Business Times - Sequoia, Burned By Webvan, Invests $8.5 Million In Grocery Startup Instacart.
- 7/13/13 - San Francisco Business Times - Instacart Seeks To Dominate Online Grocery Delivery.
- 9/17/13 - TechCrunch - Growing 10% Weekly, Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Expands To Chicago.
- 11/7/2014 - Silcon Beat - Whole Foods Credits Delivery Startup Instacart With Sales Growth.
- 12/5/14 - TechCrunch - Instacart Is Raising North of $100 Million At A $2 Billion Valuation.
- 12/16/14 - OregonLive - Instacart, A Grocery Delivery App, Adds Green Zebra Grocery To Lineup.
- 12/30/14 - Forbes - Grocery Delivery Startup Instacart Rings Up $210 Million Investment.
Looking at the above sources, there are five that I would use to start the article and establish notability. There are hundreds of other articles to sort through where I can pick and choose the best available sources to complete an article about the company. Now, a search of Wikipedia shows that an article was previously created for Instacart, but was deleted in February 2014 for failure to state its significance (basically a statement in the opening paragraph stating why the company is notable). This is not a notability issue, but rather an error by the creator for failing to show the notability of the company.
So, even though Instacart is a startup, I believe the company to be notable based on my experience as a professional Wikipedia editor. How the article must be written in order to establish that notability is a different story. I have created numerous Wikipedia pages for startup companies with references similar to Instacart. These articles are still alive and well on Wikipedia today and will likely remain there for the long haul based on the companies gaining more and more traction as time goes on.
Warning regarding duplicate sources:
When it comes to Wikipedia pages for startup companies, many feel like the fact they are covered in numerous reliable sources about the same topic qualifies them for inclusion. This is not necessarily so. Using the example on Instacart, there are dozens of sources that talk about the same topic (mainly funding). When it comes down to sourcing, these should only be weighed as a single source, despite how many different publications talk about the subject. So, make sure you use the best source available for that particular topic when citing Wikipedia.
There are not many startup companies that qualify for Wikipedia pages. This is due to the lack of sources about them that can be used to create a page. So, do not get discouraged if there are no sources about your company. Reach out to the media to see if they would be willing to write an article about you, issue press releases, and continue to disrupt the field you are in so that you start to receive the type of coverage that will help qualify you for inclusion on Wikipedia.