I`m no expert in the HR/personnel area and so I can`t say what the dollar value of pay should be, but often times, new ventures are able to attract and retain good people with equity in the business. There are numerous considerations in doing this, since paying with equity may end up being far more expensive (in terms of the value of the ownership given up once the business is succesful) than paying with dollars.
There are also some legal considerations in doing this, especially if you want to maintain control of the company. Have you thought of going this route?
Clint A. Costa, Esq., CPA (Licensed in Illinois only)