The Startup Institute, a career accelerator that aims to equip individuals with the skills required to work in a start-up, revealed in a survey today that more than three quarters (79 percent) of start-ups are struggling to find the right talent, with 41 percent of start-ups citing this as a reason for failure.

The study, based on responses from 100 start-ups across the US and Europe, found that staffing issues are holding start-ups back and causing them to fail because it means they lack the skills to execute on ideas. 

The second most popular reason cited for start-up failure was a lack of funding, with 26 percent of respondents citing this as their main issue.

Web development was cited as most sought after skill, with 38 percent of respondents saying this was the most important recruitment area for them, and demand for technical roles was higher than demand for non-technical roles. Indeed, 60 percent of those surveyed said they were looking for people to fill technical roles, while 40 percent said they were looking for staff to fill business development and sales positions.

Startup Institute founder Aaron O’Hearn said: “It is alarming to see the extent of staffing challenges in the start-up community. While there is much talk about start-up hubs thriving, there is a real danger they won’t reach their full potential because the talent pipeline is not strong enough.

“Short on time and resources, founders are struggling to find new recruits who can add immediate value in fast-moving teams. This is a worrying trend and it’s important to bring this to the public’s attention as high-growth technology companies continue to play a bigger role in the economy. Governments are thankfully taking note and I hope initiatives such as the Year of Code in the UK will be successful.”

The Startup Institute has been running eight-week accelerator programmes in Boston, New York and Chicago since 2012 and expanded to London in January. The programmes focus on product and design, technical marketing, sales and account management, and web development.

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