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Starting Line's Official Policy on Mental Health

Building a startup is an exhausting process. It is terrifying, stressful, and confusing. It can also be exhilarating. The highs are higher than any other feeling; the lows depress similarly. As a founder remarked to us recently, “my mood is dictated daily by the performance of our Shopify revenue.”

If not managed and balanced, these volatile emotions can become unhealthy. Worse, they can affect performance.

We would know: we raised Starting Line against long odds, in a tough fundraising environment, while taking no paychecks.

That’s why we’re releasing our formal policy in support of mental health. It is our hope and expectation that all founders (in Starting Line’s portfolio and beyond) are in a consistent habit of meeting with a mental health professional.

To that end, we are offering the following subsidies to founders in Starting Line's portfolio:

  • Starting Line will subsidize each founder’s first session of therapy, executive coaching, or co-founder counseling (up to $200.)
  • If any founder commits to a three month term of engaging therapy, executive coaching, or co-founder counseling, Starting Line will cover the first three of those sessions (up to $200 per session.)

The goals here are straightforward – first, to reduce the friction and barriers towards engaging on this important issue. And secondly, to provide an incentive towards longer term care and health. Through our networks, we are happy to anonymously assist any founder who is interested in therapy, executive coaching, or co-founder counseling, but doesn’t know where to start.

In addition, we will provide all founders, upon their request, and at no expense, with the following list of books (a library which we hope will grow over time):

It is our sincere hope that this is only a first step in a larger dialogue – and that as our assets under management grow over time, we will be able to increase the subsidies we offer to all founders.

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