FAILURE: Accept. Learn. Overcome.
FAILURE: Accept. Learn. Overcome.

About Us

The Phoenix Rising was founded in 2015 on the idea of addressing the topic of failure, and the negative fear / anxiety it brings, head on.


In 2013, co-founder Matt Hunt had the chance to share the lessons he had learned on innovation and failure at the FailCon conference in San Francisco, CA.  Having recognized how toxic failure could become, Matt was motivated by how accepting the Silicon Valley community had become with the important role of failure in launching new startup businesses.  Matt wanted to bring a piece of that experience back to our community in Minnesota in order to help build that same acceptance among our organizations (for-profit, nonprofit, government, and education).


In 2014, Matt met fellow co-founder Rajiv Tandon as both were members of the Bush Foundation Innovation Grant selection committee.  Rajiv shared a similar passion for the topic of failure as he had witnessed how devastating it could be for his fellow entrepreneurs.  Both discussed how power a local event could be in changing our understand and exploring our perceptions of failure.


The goal was to use Lean Startup methodologies to prove out their idea - could we get an audience to give their time and their money to spend a day learning about the misunderstandings and the misperceptions surrounding failure?


In 2015, Wendy Kaufmann became the third co-founder and joined the team as Director of Operations for our event planning.  Wendy was equally passionate about this topic based on what she had observed with failure in big business, in startups, and in her personal life.



Over the last year we have had many other volunteers assist in hosting these Phoenix Rising events. That is why we are especially happy to find new volunteers who share our commitment to this important topic and support us in any way that they can.


If you would like to support this work please do not hesitate to contact us: A helping hand is always greatly appreciated!

Phoenix Rising Co-Founders: Matt Hunt, Rajiv Tandon, & Wendy Kaufmann


2016 Summit - Learn from Failure to Create Success


Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN



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