Stop being afraid of failure and start embracing it.

FailCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others' failures and prepare for success.

We all have founded, worked for or invested in startups that have failed. We're smart, we keep up with the latest in technology trends, but sometimes just don't go as planned. How can you predict what will work and what won't? Well, you can't.

But that doesn't mean you should stop trying. It just means you should start exchanging stories of what didn't work and how you pivoted, why you couldn't raise money, what the wrong hires were like, and when you decided it was time to let go. Entrepreneurs need to hear that from each other: that it's okay to fail, it doesn't mean you're worthless. You're just like the rest of us, learning from our making mistakes and building something bigger next time.

Our Story

FailCon was started in 2009 by Cass Phillipps, an event planner for startup events and Diane Loviglio, a founder of a cleantech startup.

We'd both produced or attended numerous events for the technology industry, but had begun to realize things were starting to get repetitive. Events put successful entrepreneurs on stage to talk about how they made their company great, something that's near-impossible to replicate, and never about what they learned from mistakes along the way. In talking to other attendees, we saw this was a pretty universal opinion; and so we decided to work with the community and, together, make something stronger. Our first event launched with over 400 attendees, and we've continued to grow since then. We hope you'll join us and add your unique story and experience to our own.

Failure is still a taboo topic all over the world, but we're working to change that one city at a time. If you're interested in hosting a FailCon in your city, email Cass.

Who Are The Producers?

Cass Phillipps, Executive Producer

Cassandra has been a startup event producer for over five years, producing and managing conferences like FailCon, SF MusicTech Summit, Inside Social Apps, Unleashed Conference, and many more. She works with clients to insure each has a high-quality and profitable event, connecting them with the best partners, sponsors, and speakers for their topics. Cassandra has a B.A in Human Development from the University of Chicago.

Diane Loviglio, Producer

Diane is a User Experience Researcher, currently working at Mozilla, but she used to freelance for consumer, technology, healthcare and environmental startups in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to that she co-founded a startup, Wattbot, that isn't around anymore, so she's familiar with failure.

Heather McGough, Production Manager

Heather McGough is the founder of Urbanity Events. Her company specializes in startup conferences, speaker series' and launch parties in the Bay Area and beyond. Prior to moving to the startup industry, she spent seven years in the non-profit sector and continues to dedicate time to local and global causes. In her free time, Heather enjoys travel, the outdoors, playing basketball and is writing a detective fiction book about organized crime.

Melissa Tinitigan, Production Manager

Melissa Tinitigan is a freelance event manager for tech and startup conferences in San Francisco. Her portfolio of events include the SF MusicTech Summit, Future of Money & Technology Summit, Women 2.0's SF Founder Friday, and most recently, the War For Talent conference. Prior to working on events, she handled advertising and operations for media and tech companies. Her passions include travel, writing, exotic cuisines, and of course, planning parties and social gatherings with friends.