In Flanders, bankruptcy can end your business career while in contrast failure is accepted in ‘the Valley’, as a consequence of risk taking. Entrepreneurs who fail gracefully will find themselves funded again. The US has proven to be more entrepreneurial than Europe in large part because it has embraced a culture of “failing forward” as a common tech-industry phrase puts it.

Failure is still too stigmatized in Europe to allow us to compete on equal terms with Silicon Valley. Outdated social attitudes encourage entrepreneurs to be risk-averse and limit their ambitions. If only failure were more widely accepted as a standard part of an entrepreneur’s journey, then Europe would take more of the leaps that would produce the next Facebooks and Apples.

The organization of a Fail Conference lives on the idea that failure should be an acceptable byproduct of entrepreneurship, taking Silicon Valley as an example. It isn’t about celebrating failure, but about talking about why ventures failed, how failure can be acceptable, and even how to fail gracefully. During this conference, failure will be discussed openly in order to learn from mistakes and be better next time. The program will be filled with speakers that share first-handed and openly their personal failure – and step up – story.

The Fail Conference is organized by Flanders DC and iMinds. The conference is targeting (wannabe) start-ups, policy-makers, entrepreneurs involved in failed startups, business angels and venture capitalists.

Students are eligible for a free ticket. Please contact tickets@creativemediadays.be for more information.