media release

SFU’s RADIUS hosts Social Entrepreneur Failure Wake

September 23, 2013

Shawn Smith, SFU Beedie, 778.782.5135,
Ross MacDonald-Allan, SFU Beedie, 778.782.9492,
Dixon Tam, SFU media relations, 778.782.8742,

RADIUS, the new interdisciplinary social innovation lab and venture incubator at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, is hosting B.C.’s first-ever celebration of the failures and mistakes made by entrepreneurs.

The lab has teamed with Vancity to co-host the Social Entrepreneur Failure Wake, which will feature short talks from entrepreneurs on dealing with failure, Sept. 24. It will be followed by an Irish wake-style celebration, marking the release of the entrepreneurs’ talents and energy to enable them to create something new.

“Entrepreneurs, and particularly those that are trying to solve really pressing social problems, feel immense pressure to be successful,” says Shawn Smith, adjunct professor at the Beedie School of Business and co-founder of RADIUS. “Acknowledging and accepting failure is a major part of the growth and development of successful entrepreneurs.”

The event, held at Vancouver’s Portside Pub, aims to build an entrepreneurial community that celebrates audacious attempts, with mistakes and failures shared openly in order for others to learn from the experience.

“The work entrepreneurs are doing is incredibly difficult, and we hope to help build a community that can be more open and authentic with each other about those difficulties, and celebrate these bold entrepreneurs giving it their all,” says Smith. “The entrepreneurial road to success is paved with many failures and near failures, and it is important to start learning from them together.”

The Social Entrepreneur Failure Wake is open to the public. Tickets are now on sale, and include one drink, appetizers, live Irish music, and a chance to network with local social entrepreneurs. To purchase tickets, visit

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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