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Salaries for first C-level positions?

With the caveat that salaries are regionally influenced, is there a ratio that anyone is aware of to determine C-level salaries in proportion to revenue? Does this ratio change as the startup evolves? Any ballpark ranges for these positions for a health technology startup?

4 Replies

Simone Tarantino
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Serial Entrepreneur. Innovator. Strategist. Italian. International Executive. Advisor. Investor. Founder.
Salaries, especially in the startup world, are known for following no set rules.
They depend first of all by the stage the company is in: bootstrap, angel funded, vc funded etcetera.
Several investors told me, and i agree, that a funder should always ave at least a minimum stipend, even at bootstrap level, so he/she can focus 100% on the company. I tried working with co-funders that were less fortunate then me, and had to at least have a part-time gig in order to survive: not good for the business...
When you ask about C-level, i am assuming that the company got a minimum funding, and it is generating some sort of revenues. Although there is no set rule, if that is the case, and if the people are willing to, i would go for the lower side of the salary bracket, or for what is their minimum acceptable, and work the rest with equity (skin in the game) or bonuses (incentive to reach goals).
Just keep in mind that the sacrifice needs to be across all the C, so you don't create disharmonies.
When the company will reach set milestones, then you can change the salary to a more appropriate one.
Hope this helps. :)
Elizabeth Koshy
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Elizabeth Koshy Entrepreneur • Advisor
Board Advisor at Stealth Mode Startup Company
In my past startups , I would would personally take and give about $60-&75000( per annum) to my co founder. now that is considered very low salaries keeping in mind the high cost of Silicon Valley.

Hope that helps
Axel Schultze
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Axel Schultze Entrepreneur
Founder Society3 Accelerator & Fundraising market place
I fully support Elizabeth's comment - this is a great range and I did actually the same. There has been a good post about a year ago written from the VC perspective and stating that everything above $150,000 is a total no go - not even willing to explore such a deal. During a seed round everything above $100,00 would feel very wrong. So 60-80k sounds reasonable and acceptable.

Now take those Silicon Valley values and discount them linear to cost and other average pricing and salary into other geographies and you should be fine.

P.S.
An entrepreneur who tries to maximize the salary rather than the equity value of the company which is affected by the salary looks like a short term gainer rather than a long term visionary.
Lise Alschuler
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Lise Alschuler Entrepreneur
Ex Dir TAP Integrative, Co-Founder Five To Thrive
Thanks for the input - trouble finding CEOs and CTOs who are willing go come on board for anything less than $100K + equity...
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