South African Entrepreneurs Blazing a Trail Overseas

South African Entrepreneurs Blazing a Trail Overseas


1. South African Dragon Vinny Lingham’s Silicon Valley Success

Vinny-Lingham-“If you haven’t reached a point of despair while building your company, you’re not pushing hard enough.”

Vital Stats:

  • Vinny Lingham is the founder of IncuBeta, Yola and Gyft.
  • He’s currently the CEO of Gyft, which he sold to First Data Corporation, a global payments technology solutions company, in 2014.
  • He is an angel investor, a global endeavour entrepreneur and a Dragon on South Africa’s Dragon’s Den.
  • He’s currently based in Silicon Valley.

Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Vinny Lingham is largely self-taught. Forced to leave university before his degree was complete due to financial constraints, Lingham took it upon himself to upskill.

“I focused on educating myself. The plan had changed. I’d always aimed to be the top programmer in my class, and to complete my honours and my masters. That wasn’t to be, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t continue to follow my dreams. I read as much as possible about business and coding. I tried my hand at a lot of businesses, and while most of them failed, I eventually found a model that worked with great product market-fit. It takes sacrifice and focus, but if you’re willing to work, success will follow.”

Top Lesson:

“Understand the nature of failure. To me, failure is an unanticipated result. Everything else is just testing an hypothesis. Minimum viable products are just that – tests. Most won’t work. The important thing is that you learn from them while you continue to refine your idea.”

Read more: Vinny Lingham’s full story here

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.