"Don't be afraid to fail," says serial entrepreneur and investor Robin Klein

It was a sentiment echoed by TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher. "Fail fast and fail often," he says. "It's a very exciting time to be starting businesses."

Klein's comments followed a talk by Brainient founder Emi Gal. The Romania-born entrepreneur has started three businesses to date, despite being only 23. "Two were very successful," he says. "And one went very successfully bankrupt."

"I tried to launch a TV channel for smart people," explains Gal. "I invested a lot of time and money into the technology, only to find out that there aren't that many smart people out there. So I had to shut it down."

Gal is certainly not daunted by failure. He bounced back from the demise of his TV start-up and launched Brainient in 2008. This dynamic start-up allows publishers to monetize online content by adding interactive layers of advertising to video.  "This is the business that will make me a millionaire," he says.

It is this level of self belief that Robin Klein believes characterises Generation Y entrepreneurs. "Although, I did have to look up Generation Y on Wikipedia," he admits. "Apparently they are more comfortable with communications."

"Generation X entrepreneurs created their own glass ceiling," he says. "We had no role models for success and, if we failed, we felt like we had to hide. These days, entrepreneurs have some real 'rock star' role models. Society grants them a much higher status too. And let's not forget the huge gains in productivity: I can now do things in one hour that used to take me a day."

Klein puts his money where his mouth is. Through the Accelerator Group, he has invested in hundreds of start-ups, including some real gems like LoveFilm, Wonga, and Moshi Monsters. And he's excited about helping the next wave of entrepreneurs. "Roll on Generation Z!" he says.

The Albion Society is a quarterly breakfast meeting where experts from a range of sectors meet marketers and entrepreneurs to discuss controversial issues of the day.


Picture source (homepage): 'Derek J' by Phil Watt


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