The behavior of a room temperature synchronously mode-locked vertical-external cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) operating at 980 nm is reported. The laser performance was found to be qualitatively the same for different pump pulse duration (3.6 ps and 70 fs). The pulse duration of the laser is limited by strong self-phase modulation to around 10-40 ps. By compressing the strongly chirped pulses generated directly from the laser, ultrashort pulses with duration of around 200 fs with maximum peak powers of 1.3 kW at 80 MHz were obtained. Multiple pulsing of the laser was observed and the effects of cavity length detuning on pulse width and spectral bandwidth have been investigated.