Common Equity Grants for Startup Employees

Dave Williams, the CEO of BLiNQ Media, posted some great comments on the Physical Atlanta Startup Village Idea article from a couple weeks ago. In one of his comments he argues that more young talent needs to be part of a big exit so that they can get a taste of what it’s like and participate in the upside of owning a piece of a startup. With that said, it’s important to understand common equity ballpark amounts for startup employees in the seed to early stage.

Here are some equity amounts for common startup positions with near market startup salaries:

  • VP – 1%
  • Lead Engineer – .5%
  • Director / Senior Engineer – .25%
  • Manager / Junior Engineer – .1%

Of course, equity grants need to be taken in context with salary, bonus, benefits, and other factors. Another key item is thinking through how much more dilution is likely based on future financings, as that will seriously impact the ownership percentages.

What else? What are your thoughts on the common equity grant amounts for startup employees?

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