Failure is a risk for start-ups – but unlike in the US, where failure is accepted as normal, it is still considered a stumbling block in Germany. Experiencing a few failures, learning from them and taking new paths is indispensable for founders on the way to forming a successful company.
It is precisely on these small and large stumbling blocks in their professional careers that entrepreneurs will be reporting during Fuckup Nights® , a world-renowned conference series. "We want entrepreneurs and those thinking of becoming them to find in their fear of failure the courage to arise stronger from mistakes and small setbacks," says Yannick Kwik, explaining the idea behind the event series.
18 years ago, Salesforce itself was a start-up. And even though it is the fourth largest software company in the world today, Salesforce still has a lot of start-up culture and a very successful Salesforce for Start-ups program . Nothing is better suited as a platform of exchange than the Salesforce World Tour @ CeBIT on March 21 in Hall 9 for national and international start-ups to share their entrepreneurial experiences and report on mistakes they have made and what they have learned from them. "We need a new awareness of failure. Failure and rethinking are part of the personal educational path of every entrepreneur. Innovative ideas must find their place in the market, inspire investors and finally be implemented in practice. Since it is quite normal that not everything always runs smoothly, trying and rethinking are necessary and absolutely welcome," says Yannick Kwik, Global CEO of Fuckup Nights®.
Failure can have very different reasons, as company founder and investor Olaf Sprinz knows. "My first company failed because the roles of the eight founders were improperly regulated – even though all of our competencies were represented in the team. My second major company went bankrupt because our core business was declining while we focused on investing in new business areas against the financing bank. At CeBIT Fuckup Nights® on the Salesforce stage, I will show why these mistakes are the basis of my success today."
But the way there is difficult and full of stumbling blocks, as Taste of Kenya founder Zipporah Gatiti now knows. She is aiming to revolutionize the supply chain for Kenyan coffee by establishing direct contact between Kenyan coffee farmers and roasters, which promotes fair trade. "Taste of Kenya" is her second start-up. Prior to that, she studied computer science in Ireland and earned her MBA from London Business School, and in 2012 founded her first company, TestCom Technology, a software management consultancy for clients such as Eircom, Coillte and Bank of Ireland. She has had to struggle against the obstacles of crowdfunding and now knows exactly what to consider for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Vanessa Ferragut, founder of Greenease , knows that even the best idea is difficult to implement without the right team and a suitable investor. True to the motto, "Why travel far when what's close is good," the founder aims to bring local restaurants, cafes, caterers and grocers together with regional farmers using her app to improve the sustainability of the tourism and gastronomy sector. An innovative vision for more sustainability in the US which is sure to appeal in Germany and is based entirely on a conscious approach to nature and regionally available products while supporting local agriculture. As Vanessa will report on the Salesforce companion stage, a great idea is brought to life by a successful technical implementation.
"We are delighted to welcome Fuckup Nights® to the stage at the World Tour @ CeBIT, and we are excited about the insights and tips founders will be able to take with them," says Frank Dehne, Salesforce's Regional Vice President for Start-ups & SMEs in the German-speaking region. "The exchange of start-ups and founders is particularly important to us, and we advocate an open approach to entrepreneurial errors, as each one teaches something for the future. Only in this way can companies find long-term success in the market."
The event will be moderated by Anna Gubanova and Gabriel Gelman, organizers of Fuckup Nights® Hannover . Anna Gubanova is the founder of betatestr and a scientist at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences. She herself already has two foundations behind her and knows about failure from her own experience. Gabriel Gelman is the founder of the online marketing agency Netzbekannt and the language learning informational platform Sprachheld . For the two, Fuckup Nights® is a good way to draw attention to the fact that mistakes are part of the everyday life of an entrepreneur and that failure does not have to mean the end of an entrepreneur’s career, but is part of the learning process.
Yannick Kwik , who manages Fuckup Nights® as its global CEO, will also be participating. Fuckup Nights® took place for the first time in 2012 and has now expanded to more than 150 cities in 54 countries. Last year, they were experienced by more than 200,000 listeners worldwide.
Experience inspiring insights and open confessions, learn from the mistakes of others and enjoy exciting entrepreneurial stories. Get your ticket now for the Salesforce World Tour @ CeBIT .