The "slow" startup is related to the fact that perl has to compile your script into a parse tree or "bytecode" (Yes, fellow monks, I read the recent discussions about the B:: modules). If you are running on a command line, I don't think there's much you can do about it.
OTOH, if you are running in a web environment, mod_perl can greatly speed up the load time. If you are calling a perl script over and over, you could rethink the way you are doing things and make the perl program a continuous program, and feed the data in via named pipe or something.
Is there a specific problem you are running into?