Fail Tale Cup

The Fail Tale Cup is a fund to support student entrepreneurs at Memorial University who have tested a business idea and failed.

Most successful entrepreneurs fail multiple times before they reach their personal heights. At MCE, we celebrate failure and will support you in your next business idea!

Every year we will award $1,000 to a student who can show failure and lessons learned. The $1,000 can be used to kickstart a new idea, and embark on a path to startup success!

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

-Drew Houston, Dropbox Founder

The Details


  • Student entrepreneur(s) at Memorial with a failed business idea.
  • A student or team must be able to show lessons learned from the failed idea and how this learning will lead to higher chances of success in their next startup.
  • The majority of the team must be located in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Required to submit a completed Lean Canvas for a new idea, or substantial pivot.
  • Have not been awarded the Fail Tale Cup previously.
  • Eligibility will be determined at the sole discretion of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.

How to apply

  • 5-minute video or audio file on the failed idea that includes a pitch of the idea (at least one minute), what worked, what didn’t work, lessons learned and how this learning will improve your future chances of success (selfie videos from your phone are accepted);
  • Complete a Lean Canvas for a new idea, or substantial pivot;
  • Explain the suggested use of funds.

Application deadline: Mid-October. More details to come!


1. What constitutes a failure?
A failure is qualified as the failure of an idea that surpassed initial market validation but ultimately was not deemed successful. Strategic pivots are eligible if both the customer segments and value proposition components of a business canvas model have changed significantly.

2. Are applications competitive?
The Fail Tale Cup Fund uses a competitive application process with an annual call for applications each Fall. Applications for the Spark Fund are accepted year-round until all available funds are awarded and applications for the Ignite Fund are accepted during the Spring/Summer and Fall semesters. We advise interested applicants to apply for funding as soon as possible (provided you have a clear purpose and meet the application criteria).

3. Do I have to pay back the funding I receive?
No. All of the MCE funding is non-repayable. If you do end up becoming a billionaire and MCE helped along the way, we won’t refuse any donations!

If you have any other questions, contact us.