Understanding Start-Up Equity and Compensation
Equity is the main driver of employee compensation at start-ups, yet a lot of the terminology and machinations around how to manage stock is shrouded in mystery. This session will explore how employees can maximize the returns from their hard work and how founders can structure equity packages to be the most lucrative tools possible for recruiting top talent while being fair to their employees. From day one, understand how to compare the financials behind job offers. Learn standard terms from vesting, cliffs, accelerations and triggers to the differences between incentive stock options (ISOs), non-qualified stock options (NSOs) and restricted stock units (RSUs). Know your options for maximizing the value of your equity including what it means to do an 83(b) election. Arm yourself with knowledge to hire qualified tax advisors and know what pitfalls to look for when talking to wealth management advisors. Find out what resources are available for free online and how to best protect yourself.
Justin is the founder and managing partner of 137 Ventures, an investment firm focused on private technology companies. Previously, he worked at Founders Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he was responsible for all aspects of the investment process and led the firm’s financial and operations functions. While there, he guided the investment in SpaceX, the first private company to develop a liquid fueled rocket to achieve Earth orbit. He also served on the boards of Clickable, Adorn, Inigral and Navia; and he remains involved in those companies since his departure from Founders Fund. Prior to that, Justin was the CEO of SSE, a conglomerate of businesses at Stanford University. He led SSE to the largest expansion of revenue and profitability in the organization's history. Earlier in his career, Justin was the director of sales at Cellfire, a mobile promotional marketing service and worked as an engineer at Raytheon/Texas Instruments. Justin also served under Alan Larson, the Undersecretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Justin holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in management science and engineering and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.