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On Set with Shark Tank SA’s Vinny Lingham

The Socialite reveals a 5 part series as we go behind the scenes with the co-stars on Shark Tank SA. Our first interview features Shark Vinny Lingham, check it out…

South Africa welcomes its latest addition to reality television with the debut of Shark Tank SA to the M-Net channel. The reality show is based on the two-time Emmy award-winning US series produced by Mark Burnett – the creator of Survivor US and the Celebrity Apprentice.

The first shark to take the hot seat is VC and co-founder of Silicon Cape, Vinny Lingham. He is a renowned internet entrepreneur who is currently moving and shaking the world of IT in California’s Silicon Valley.

1.       Tell us a bit about your family and growing up?

I grew up in East London – my parents owned a small business and I have two brothers. They all still live there. I enjoyed my childhood and growing up in a small town. I went to Hudson Park High School and matriculated in 1996. I won the border chess championship that year too (Laughs)

2.       What would you say the best advice you’ve ever received was?

Raise as little money as possible at the lowest valuation – because it keeps your options open!

3.       Can you reveal the worst business decision you’ve ever made?

Choosing the wrong people to hire and not fire!

4.       What would you like to see from an entrepreneur in their pitch before putting money into their venture?

I want to see that the company will generate the returns I need to make it worth the risk because early stage investing is very high risk!

5.       What other qualities does the “right person” have?

A person that has a willingness to listen and learn, someone that is hardworking as well as being driven. They need to have their feet on the ground while keeping their head in the clouds!

6.       Most memorable moment on set during the production? It wasn’t a good moment – it was when Gil beat me out of a deal! He is lucky we’re still close friends (Laughs)

7.       How do you balance your work life from your home life? I work about 80 hours Monday-Friday and then spend weekends with the family. I wake up at 6am for gym during weekdays and home around 7-8pm and then work until 11pm during the week. Intense weeks and relaxing weekends!

8.       What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time?

I like to play golf, travel and sometimes play video games.

9.       Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?

Kal Pen

10.   Any hidden talents people don’t know about?

I’m great at Fantasy Football (NFL) and won the company league last year.  Maybe it’s from all my years of watching rugby in SA.

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