Fail, Learn, and Succeed

Failing is a paradox in entrepreneurship.

With each risk, and without risk there would be no innovation, comes the possibility of failing. When failure happens, it becomes a valuable experience from which important lessons are learned. In this conference and discussion panel, we hear from entrepreneurs who “dare” to speak about their failures and how they bounced back even stronger.



Welcome and introduction to failure in entrepreneurship 
Jeffrey S. Petty, Assistant professor of entrepreneurship and academic director of the EMBA program – University of Lausanneco-organised by


A Personal Perspective – What happens if you take big risks and try to enter a market where investors will need big exits? And what happens when those same investors decide to stop following you?
Mark-Eric Jones – CEO, Léman Micro Devices SA


How to fall with grace – What happens when you go bankrupt in Switzerland? What should be the mandatory parts of your Emergency Plan? Does failing here means you shouldn’t persevere in that field, elsewhere?
Barbara Maïm, Founder – Minsh


A European VC perpective on failure – How do Europe perceive an entrepreneur who has survived a failure? How do you live this situations in the shoes of an investor? What are the failures VCs are living?
Nicolas CelierPartner – Alven Capital, Paris – VC


Failing to succeed – Is it OK to fail several times with the same project? What is the difference between saying “no” for a good reason and missing a valuable opportunity? When is it a failure for you, but a good sign for others?
Colin Sanctuary, CEO – Qgel


Recruiters’ perspective on entrepreneurs failures – What happens after a personal entrepreneurship failure ? You experienced that such adventure is not for you. How do you valorize such experience in your CV ? How does the coporate world think of you ?
Frank Gerritzen, co-founder – Careerplus SA


Spin-In, Business case and risks – When such a global company launches a product on the market, it can only be a success due to the large amount of money spent in research, marketing, communication, etc. If it is a failure, you will never learn about it. But now, how are the people managed in such situation ?
Massimo Lucchina, Director, Cisco Systems International SARL

7 :15 PM

Conclusion – How many time should it take to fail? Are there cultures that accept failure better than others? Why? Is it easier to fail in some fields than others?
by Jeffrey S. Petty

Panel with all the speakers – Chair : Jeffrey S. Petty


End and Cocktail