The founder mental health crisis is real

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The Future. Starting a company is hard enough — but with the recent turbulence in the startup space, investors are predicting an even tougher environment in 2024. From the struggle to find funding to a silent IPO market, investors are predicting that this year will see an unprecedented founder mental health crisis.

Taking a toll
It’s hard being an entrepreneur, and it’s about to get harder.

  • Many founders are under an immense amount of stress, following rampant layoffs, two turbulent years of economic uncertainty, and four years of largely remote work.
  • While the stigma around mental health has improved in the wider culture, many founders worry that talking openly about mental health could hurt their credibility with their team or board.
  • As a result, most entrepreneurs suffer in silence, and many VCs follow an unspoken “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to burnout and mental illness.

Building resilience
But some founders are beginning to speak out and even create their own ventures in this space. Humans Anonymous is a live audio platform that facilitates safe spaces for communities of people with similar life experiences, starting with entrepreneurs. Elsewhere, Felicis Ventures and Seven Seven Six commit 1% on top of new investments to subsidize services like coaching and therapy for founders.

Melody Song

Melody is a Bay Area-based writer exploring mental health innovation, psychedelics, and consciousness. When she’s not working with words, you can find her practicing yoga, soaking in the CA sun with a good book, or traveling somewhere tropical.


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