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Hello, and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where today we’re niching down to a group of experts, thinking about their work and unpacking the rest. This week, Natasha spoke with a founder, a psychiatrist and a venture capitalist about founder mental health, a topic that has been a conversation in Silicon Valley for as long as we can remember. The theme has gained renewed momentum due to the startup and venture downturn in general, and exacerbated by a bank failure that still has some folks reeling.

It’s time for a check-in. Here’s who we spoke with for today’s show:

  • Pioneer Mind’s Naveed Lalani gave us the founder perspective on how to “hustle responsibly” with The Founder Mental Health Pledge, a call to action for investors to support founders in looking at their mental health as a business priority. We talk about the importance of explicitness, dedicating non-dilutive capital and why turn to a pledge.
  • Psychiatrist Dr. Saumya Dave reminded us of the differences between — but also overlap of — therapy, executive coaching and group sessions. She gets into the specific challenges that founders face, and how to think about success as separate from hustle culture. 
  • Graham & Walker’s Leslie Feinzaig helped us close out the show with the VC perspective and her own tools for wellness, as well as what she thinks portfolio companies need to hear time and time again.

This is, of course, a conversation we want to continue. If you have a story you want to share, or if there’s an angle you think we missed when it comes to talking about mental health in the entrepreneurial world, you can email us at

As always, Alex, Natasha and Mary Ann will be back for our weekly news roundup on Friday, but follow us on Twitter @EquityPod for live updates and more!

For episode transcripts and more, head to Equity’s Simplecast website

Equity drops at 7:00 a.m. PT every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. TechCrunch also has a great show on crypto, a show that interviews founders, one that details how our stories come together and more!

Founders shouldn’t have to choose between mental health and grit by Theresa Loconsolo originally published on TechCrunch

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