In "State of Startups" Unicorn-Hopefuls Abound

In the second annual "State of Startups," First Round Capital asked 700 founders of venture-baked companies about the state of entrepreneurship. Questions included the typical financial trends and sentiments, but also newer realms such as diversity and inclusion climates at their companies. 

A few interesting takeaways include:

  • Alphabet is the most sought-after acquirer.
  • Founders' top concerns are talent and customer acquisition.
  • Agtech and life science are under appreciated and deserve more attention. 
  • 61% of founders say their boards are all-male. 
  • Top reasons for potential failure could be: not being able to raise follow on capital (24%), growth stagnation (22%) and not finding product-market fit (21%). 
  • 43% don't think we're in a tech bubble, but 24% think we are and they're getting ready for it to pop.
  • On profitability, 48% think they'll reach revenue in 1-3 years, while 13% are already profitable. 
  • 61% are optimizing for growth, compared to 39% for profitability.
  • The primary driver of company culture is engineering (47%), beating out sales by 24%. 
  • Mostly female teams account for just 7% of those surveyed, and 50% represent mostly male companies.
  • For 54%, diversity and inclusion are non-formal policies and 45% have discussed strategies internally, while 23% don't have plans and 30% haven't discussed a formal strategy yet. 
  • 25% report that their last funding round took more than four months and 20% pitched to 11-20 firms before hearing "yes." 
  • Popular sectors include: enterprise, consumer internet (38% and 23%, respectively)_ with #FinTech, eCommerce and Healthcare following at 9%, 7% and 6%.
  • The respondents were mostly in the Bay Area (39%), New York City (19%), with 30% coming from the Coasts or LA, and only 12% from the South and Midwest. 
  • 83% of respondents were male, and 17% female, with the 31-35 year old age group accounting for nearly 1/3 of those surveyed. 
  • A surprising 24% are 41-50 years of age and 8% are 50+. (Hint: It's never too late to start-up!)
Nearly 1 in 5 founders say they're raising a unicorn. The unbridled optimism that drives founders is alive and well in tech: 18% of leaders say they’re certain they’ll build a billion dollar company. But that’s not to say there aren’t bumps along the way. The same percentage of leaders (18%) also report having executed a layoff in the last year.

Get the rest of the report on First Round's site or download from Slideshare

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