Access Free Compensation Data for Participating in the 13th Annual CompStudy Survey – Deadline: June 30, 2012

Our annual “CompStudy” Entrepreneurship and Compensation surveys are under way right now. If you participate, you’ll get free access to detailed compensation data.

The CompStudy surveys focus on private companies in the Technology and Life Sciences industries. We have conducted these surveys annually since 2000. (I collaborate on the surveys with Ernst & Young, law firm WilmerHale, and executive-search firm Park Square.) Last year, more than 800 private startups participated, giving us an extremely detailed dataset to help you understand the market for executive talent. The first decade of CompStudy surveys – which included almost 10,000 founders from 3,600 startups – served as the data backbone of my book, The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup.

As in past years, survey participants will receive free access to our sophisticated reporting/analysis website, including salaries, bonuses, and equity holdings for C-level and VP-level executives. To qualify for the free access, please complete the questionnaire by June 30th, 2012. Click here to go to the survey site.

Investors (VC, angel, etc.) who get their portfolio companies to participate, earn free site access for themselves and their participating companies. Investors who get multiple portfolio companies to participate also receive access to additional tools, such as a portfolio-level compensation dashboard.

If you participated last year, we should be able to pre-fill some of the data that would not have changed, making it quicker for you to participate now. (If you did not participate in the past, participating now will make it quicker for you to do so next year!)

All survey submissions are kept completely confidential. Submitted information is seen only by me and the core research team. The analysis site will only show slices for which we have multiple data points, and we do not even list the names of participating companies.

Below is a screen snapshot of one part of the reporting site, showing some of the detailed data slicing you can do. Focusing on the left-side controls, you can slice the data using the following dimensions (going from top to bottom):

• Geographic region
• Position (the 11 most common C-level and VP-level positions)
• Founder status
• # of employees
• Company revenues
• # of financing rounds completed
• Industry segments

New features for 2012 include:
• 10% shorter survey; should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
• Instant access to the 2008-2011 reporting data (now including Board of Directors data!)
• Access to a Company Scorecard – a dashboard-style look at benchmarked compensation data across your executive team.



  1. We are a VC. How do set it up to get credit for our portfolio companies to participate and get credit? Thank you.

    • Thanks for the note, Steve, and for helping your portfolio companies participate!

      When your startups fill out the survey, they will see fields for entering info about the investor who asked them to participate. They should enter your name/info there.

      (FYI, VCs who have their portfolio companies participate not only get access to the overall detailed data, but also to portfolio-level analyses of their portfolio companies.)

  2. I am an attorney in Boston and would be interested in access to your data. Do you offer a similar arrangement for attorneys, and perhaps other service providers as you do for VCs?

    • Intriguing question, Dave — thanks for asking! I raised it this afternoon within the CompStudy team and we’ll be discussing it soon. Updates as they are available…

  3. How could one get access to this data for start-up planning purposes… is that possible?

    • By far, the best way to get (full and free) access to the data is to participate in the survey by completing it for your startup. (You would be able to access the 2011 data immediately, and then the 2012 data as soon as it’s available.) The 2011 data can also be accessed for a fee; there are details at

  4. I just came across your website and saw your deadline was June 30, 2012 for partication in your 2012 survey. Is it too late to participate now and receive a free copy/ access to the survey results? Thx.

    • Thanks for the inquiry, Karthik! Because the submissions were still coming in steadily at the deadline, we’ve extended it. Please hop in sometime in the next couple of weeks to complete the survey so you can get full access to the results.

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