The first thing you think of when someone says ICO is obviously IPO (initial public offering) which is a banking term to raise capital by putting a business on the public markets raising money from new potential shareholders. It becomes a public company and instead of saying Ltd at the end (in the UK at least) it now says Plc. e.g: Trotters independent trading ltd/Glaxo Smithklein Plc.
Traditionally tech companies have been built around the San Francisco area in the US. This is because all the tech investment capital is based there (institutions). So if you want to start a new tech company you would have to reach out to these investors to get the initial money to build your business.
With Blockchain this all goes out of the window as now anyone on the planet can raise capital independently for their startup, via an ICO.
Similar to crowdfunding, ICO’s are a way to raise capital for projects by creating crypto-coins or tokens.
Basically, if people like your project they can buy the coin, this support increases the value of the coin, (more people see the value in your business and want in) and the early investors get the money to build their business.
It’s a mega secure, transparent (Blockchain) crowdfunding operation which gives anyone the opportunity to invest in new and exiting businesses without the need for institutions taking a cut. i.e: no need for investment banks.
You could come up with an idea for a new online business. Develop it and then put it out for ICO to raise capital and away you go.
Below is a video which outlines this concept and the much more technical coding aspects required to put such an offering into motion.