February 26th, 6–8 p.m., Kauffman Labs at Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Rd.
People like to talk about their successes. Informing others of an innovative business tactic or productive product reinforces to ourselves that we know what we are doing. Next Wednesday, the Kauffman Foundation is asking entrepreneurs to do just the opposite: to discuss their failures.
The Foundation is inviting founders of failed startups to share their stories in an open-microphone format at Fail Night. They will be asked about specifics of their ventures including target customers, problem identification and core assumptions. Kauffman Foundation members will lead by example; Kauffman’s entrepreneurship manager Nathan Kurtz and Kauffman senior fellow Diana Kander will be the first to speak at Fail Night. Kurtz and Kander will divulge the story of their failed startup, Legal Sonar, which connected attorneys with customers through social media.
The event strives to help startup founders have closure with their ideas. It also hopes to create openness in Kansas City’s startup community, because failures among entrepreneurs are more frequent than successes. Lastly, the event aims to teach aspiring businesses how to begin strong and show them how to avoid obstacles along the way. Kurtz expects the evening to be a “somber, supportive and celebratory” occasion.
The evening will include Kleenex and light refreshments. There is no cost to attend, but the event is limited to only 100 attendees. Register online at http://www.kauffman.org/what-we-do/events/2014/02/fail-night. – Alex Sher