How to fail: Lessons from entrepreneurs at Montreal's Startupfest

Many start-ups fail to launch. But for many entrepreneurs, it's how you learn from that failure that can really make an idea take off.

'Failure is important, you have to learn from it,' festival founder says

Rica Elysée was among the entreprenurs at this year's Startupfest who stopped by the CBC Media Pitch Tent to sell her idea and to share the biggest lesson she's learned from failing. (CBC)

Many start-ups fail to launch. But for these entrepreneurs, it's how you learn from that failure that can really make an idea take off.

"Failure is important, you have to learn from it, so that you can then turn around and come up with a good idea," said Startupfest founder Phil Telio.

Telio's festival brings together innovators from around the world who are hoping to take their fresh ideas to the next level.

As a few would-be entrepreneurs filed into the CBC Media Pitch Tent for a chance to have their product featured on CBC Montreal, we took the opportunity to ask them all one question: What's the biggest lesson you've learned from failure?

Ramen Dutta and Alistair Monk

Ramen Dutta (left) and Alistair Monk (right) co-founded Motorleaf, which helps growers — big and small — increase their crop yields. (CBC)

I like to quote Winston Churchill. He says: "When you're going through hell, keep going" … You'll never know what you can do until you just keep going through stuff that you never thought you could go through. — Monk

Just get right back up. — Dutta

Jon Schneider

Jon Schneider (right) and Jonathan Nadler (left) created ChainIt, a video messaging app that lets users send short videos to each other and combine them into one. (CBC)

It's always better to regret doing something than not doing something. If you tried, it's okay to fail because you're always going to learn from your failures. But if you didn't try, you'll never know what could have been.​

Elyes Ben M'Rad

Elyes Ben M'Rad's Crema App is like a Starbucks reward app, but for small independent coffee shops. (CBC)

Launch [your app] fast. Launch the product as soon as possible. Launch an MVP [minimum viable product] as soon as you can so they can test it ... [Learn from] your mistakes and find the next big thing.

Modjossorica (Rica) Elysée

Modjossorica (Rica) Elysée's product BeautyLynk brings makeup and hair professionals to your doorstep. (CBC)

You really need to figure out the difference between advice and opinions. It's going to really determine what you're able to do and what you're going to be capable of doing in the future from learning from your failure.

Trung Pham

Trung Pham's product Axis lets you control your blinds from the comfort of your smartphone. (CBC)

Focus and learn how to say no. I think there's going to be a lot of opportunities presented to you but you really have to say no to a lot of them at the very beginning and just focus on one strategy, one direction. I like to say strategy is like a game of chess; you have to make sacrifices to advance the board — you can't do everything.