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Top venture capital firm First Round Capital published its annual “State of Startups” survey that polled more than 500 founders to get a pulse of the entrepreneurial climate in 2018.

A majority of the 529 respondents have recently raised a seed or Series A round; are based in the Bay Area or New York City; are in the 31-to-40 age range; and run companies with 6-to-50 employees. About 82 percent are male and more than a third run enterprise startups.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • The top three issues that keep founders up at night: hiring good people, acquiring customers, and revenue growth.
  • Hiring: The hardest executive positions to hire are sales, followed by engineering and marketing.
  • Founders believe payment processing startup Stripe will see the highest valuation spike in 2019, followed by SpaceX, Coinbase, Slack, and Airbnb.
  • One-third of founders believe we are in a bubble that is close to popping.
  • 39 percent said China will be the center of the tech world by 2028.
  • Founders say VR/AR is the most over-hyped technology, followed by bots/conversational UI, wearables, IoT, and drones.
  • Only 13 percent said blockchain or cryptocurrency will be dominant technologies in their industry. But 40 percent say they personally own crypto.
  • Fundraising: A majority of founders spent at least three months to raise their most recent round and 21 percent said they pitched 11-to-20 firms. For founders, the most important criteria for picking an investor are terms of the deal; good character; and individual partner expertise.
  • Age bias: 37 percent of founders believe investors bias against founders based on age; 32 percent say it’s bias against education level/alma mater; 28 percent on gender; and 26 percent on race. 89 percent say older people face age discrimination in the tech industry.
  • Two-thirds of male founders think tech companies are inclusive for parents, but only one-third of female founders said the same. Women are twice as likely to report investor bias against founders who are pregnant or have children.
  • Three-fourths of startups offer work-from-home benefits; 51 percent offer paid disability leave; 37 percent offer a return to work flex time program; and 35 percent have a mother’s room.
  • 98 percent of founders use producitvity apps such as Slack or Yammer, and 70 percent say it increases productivity.
  • 54 percent of founders have an all-male board. 43 percent say their team is made up of mostly men; 40 percent say it’s close to 50-50.
  • The time is right: 94 percent of founders say it’s a good time to start a company.
  • The next generation of startup founders will come from Uber (23 percent); Slack (16 percent); Stripe (15 percent); and Airbnb (14 percent). Side note from First Round: “We think the next great startup can come from anywhere, so whether you’ve worked at one of these companies or not, we’d love to be your first call ;-).”

See the full survey results here, or below.

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