I am working as an entry-level data scientist at a startup in New York City and I am also a phd student (few more years to graduate).
They started me on an 'intern' rate at $25/hour a couple months ago. We are negotiating the next 3 month contract, and they are only offering $30/hour. I believe even for an entry level data scientist $30 is way too low. The company is very small (3-4 people), they don't have clients yet, they are hoping to get a client by the end of the year and move to their series A funding round. The CEO offers the potential of gaining seniority at the company through time and perhaps in about a year owning equity as a counter-argument to the low pay. However, none of that is in the contract, so I can't reasonably factor it in my decision.
However, I am young in this field, I don't know how likely a startup is to succeed. What are the success rates for these startups, are there any sources of information where I can reasonably estimate the chances of this company actually succeeding?
Do you think that being part of a startup with low pay and a small chance of owning equity for a company with a small chance of making it, actually justify wasting another three, maybe six months betting on it and gaining professional experience? It was very difficult getting this first job, even with a masters in numerical analysis and published research in applied fields. Does this sound like a bad deal to you, would you need more information to judge?