With startup founders working an average of 64 hours a week and the majority drawing a smaller salary than in their previous role, 96 percent report feeling stressed; two thirds stated they were very or extremely stressed.
The findings have come from a report commissioned by KPMG Australia’s High Growth Ventures and supported by venture capital firms including Blackbird Ventures, AirTree Ventures, and Right Click Capital, which surveyed 70 founders of Australian venture-backed startups.
Amanda Price, head of KPMG Australia’s High Growth Ventures, said the research aims to put a spotlight on some of the “unspoken challenges” founders face, and highlight the link between founder wellbeing and business performance.
“Founders play a key role in driving innovation, taking massive risks, both personal and financial, to solve industry problems and build global businesses, yet there is very little data around the mental and physical toll of leading a startup,” Price said.
“A founder’s individual performance is one of the critical factors to the success or failure of their business.”
Highlighting just how much founders are taking on, the report found 53 percent of founders surveyed work during their time off, with 58 percent relaxing for less than an hour a day and 72 percent taking their mobile phone to bed.