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South African Entrepreneurs Blazing a Trail Overseas

South African entrepreneurs share their journey to international success.

Entrepreneur

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Ian Fuhr
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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

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How Nic Haralambous Launched His 6 Year In The Making, Overnight Success

Nic Haralambous launched 8 failing businesses. He used the lessons learnt from that failure to ensure the success of his new business Nic Harry.

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Nic Haralambous, the founder and CEO of Nic Harry who started off selling bamboo socks online and now has brick and mortar stores with a larger product range around the country. Nic has also written a book titled Do. Fail. Learn. Repeat. which is a brutally honest look at entrepreneurship and follows Nic’s entrepreneurial journey. Learn from his failures and how he used them as the foundation of his success.

Related: (Podcast) Speak More Honestly

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Vuyo Tofile Of EntBanc Group Talks About Finding Solutions And Partnering To Offer The Most Value

Vuyo Tofile offers his advice on how to know if you’re ready to scale and how to get it right the first time.

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Vuyo Tofile, CEO of EntBanc Group (Pty) Ltd, which is a privately held enterprise and financial technology group. They empower small businesses with the right tools including products such as mySMEtools, which is used by over 46 000 small businesses. Learn about partnering for success, develop tools and resources that your customer base needs, and how can you scale?

Related: Do You Have That 1 In 100 Business That Can Scale And Land An Investor?

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Eben Uys Shares His Concept Behind Mad Giant Brewery And How You Can Make Your Business Stand Out In A Crowd

“You just need to start” says Eben Uys, don’t make up excuses why you aren’t ready. Just start.

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Eben Uys, Co-founder and CEO of Mad Giant, a Brewery in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa. Eben brings new life to craft beer and has made his brewery and restaurant Urbanologi, a destination hub. His advice: “You can do things that give you short-term gains, but it might not benefit you in the long term. Try a lot of things over a long period of time and build a reputation and a network.”

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

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