A startup founder and iOS developer jumped to her death from a rooftop bar on Monday night, the New York Post reports.
Faigy Mayer, 30, was the founder and CEO of Appton, a New York-based app development startup.
Mayer had developed a number of iOS apps, including NYCTips, a New York restaurant tip calculator, a parking app called Carma, and an app called ExpenseTracker, according to her LinkedIn page.
Mayer graduated with her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Touro College, received a master’s in accounting from Brooklyn College, and recently earned a certificate in Data Science Specialisation from Johns Hopkins University.
On Monday, Mayer sprinted toward a shrubbery-lined ledge of the terrace at 230 Fifth’s rooftop bar, climbed up, and jumped to her death around 6:45 pm, the Post reports. It’s unclear whether Mayer had come to the roof to jump or if she had been a guest at the bar earlier in the evening.
Authorities identified Mayer by a purse and backpack she left behind at the rooftop bar. Police told the Post that Mayer died at the scene.
“There was a big corporate party up there and she kind of ran through them [the partygoers] and jumped,” one witness told the Post.
Police sources say the death was likely deliberate, a suicide. One patron at the bar told the Post that the small four-foot-wide ledge on the rooftop terrace was dangerous for guests who may have had too much to drink. “They really need to be more careful up there. There’s nothing to keep you from jumping,” said guest Carlos Rodriguez.
Founder suicides — like Mayer’s — are outliers of the tech industry’s quiet battle with depression, exacerbated by the stress of starting a company and trying to change the world.
Founder depression and suicide aren’t uncommon. A study by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF and an entrepreneur, was one of the first to link higher rates of mental health issues to entrepreneurship.
Of the 242 entrepreneurs he surveyed, 49% reported having a mental-health condition. Depression was the No. 1 reported condition among them and was present in 30% of all entrepreneurs, followed by ADHD (29%) and anxiety problems (27%).
That’s a much higher percentage than the US population at large, where only about 7% identify as depressed.