Most startups fail.
But that doesn’t mean that lessons from their demise must fade away with them.
Zen and the Art of Failure — set for May 19 at Village Square Coworking Studio — will explore the topic of failure via three local founders’ startup experiences and how they grew as a result. Matthew Marcus, executive director of the Kansas City Startup Foundation, said that the event will delve into a subject that’s often kept secret.
“Startups fail — that’s part of the natural entrepreneurial cycle,” Matthew Marcus said, reciting a quote from author and investor Brad Feld. “Established startup communities like Silicon Valley have learned to embrace this reality. Instead of startup founders and employees slinking into the darkness when their startup fails, they instead quickly move on to their next venture. Furthermore, the startup community that surrounds them rallies in their support. Kansas City must learn to do the same as we continue to grow and further our own startup community.”
Entrepreneurs participating in the event are: Julie Edge, co-founder of Creelio; Eze Redwood, founder of Prodigy Arcade; and Kyle Rogers, co-founder of Knoda. Attendees of the event can network with others in the entrepreneurial community over free food and drinks.
Ultimately, learning to deal with failure is necessary if Kansas City hopes to achieve its civic goals, Marcus said.
“If we’re going to realize our goal of being the “Most Entrepreneurial City in America,” we’ve got to learn to embrace startup failure,” he said. “Failure happens, and it’s going to continue to happen. How our community responds to it can make all the difference in what happens next for our city’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.”
Founders speaking at the event said they hope to share that failure is something from which to learn.
For example, Creelio founder Julie Edge closed her storytelling startup in early May. Edge said that she hasn’t noticed a pattern of how Kansas City regards failure, but that she hopes the area can learn to embrace it.
“Failure is a badge of courage in other startup communities,” Edge said. “I hope that will be the case in Kansas City. I’m a whole lot wiser for having done my first startup. I know I’ll be much better at the next one. I’ve grown a lot in the last three years, which I wasn’t sure was possible mid-career. … It was worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. But now it’s time to move on.”