Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Zamir Shukho, Founder and General Partner at Vibranium.VC.
In this illuminating conversation, we delve into the intricate tapestry of networking, spanning decades of professional experience and visionary insights. With a prolific background as a serial entrepreneur, Zamir brings a wealth of knowledge in venture capital, management, and corporate innovation.
His journey unfolds as he shares the pivotal role networking has played in his career, from attending transformative events to forming unexpected partnerships that altered the trajectory of his professional life.
As the conversation unfolds, Zamir Shukho dissects the evolving significance of networking in the digital age, emphasizing the delicate balance between quantity and quality in connections. Drawing from personal experiences, he unveils the transformative power of a single networking interaction and its far-reaching ripple effect.
Furthermore, Zamir peers into the future, foreseeing how emerging technologies like AI and VR will shape the landscape of networking, promising a future where personalized connections are facilitated with unprecedented efficiency.
Join us on this riveting journey through the past, present, and future of networking with a visionary entrepreneur at the helm.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Zamir Shukho: My name is Zamir Shukho, and i’m a founder and General Partner at Vibranium.VC. With 20 years of professional experience, I have a background as a serial entrepreneur having created 10 companies and organizations.
I’m an expert in venture capital, management, and corporate innovation. In addition to this, I’m a startup mentor and a certified coach of the Stanford I2M program.
Our fund is based in Silicon Valley and invests in early-stage SaaS startups with US HQ that fit our investment criteria and have the potential for global scaling. We back companies that apply disruptive technology and/or business models and can show measurable progress, such as proven sales, product market fit, and customer validation.
How has the significance of networking evolved over the past decades?
Zamir Shukho: Networking has become more significant, in my opinion, due to the emergence of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as other online tools.
The number of connections has dramatically increased, but I believe the quality of connections hasn’t increased at the same rate. There’s still a gap between the quantity of connections you have and the quality of relationships you can maintain.
Communicating with a large number of people can be a challenge, so these networking tools have made it easier to bring people closer together and build warmer business relationships and form potential partnerships.
Can you share a personal story where one networking interaction led to unexpected doors opening, and how it highlights the ripple effect of networking?
Zamir Shukho: I like attending events and listening to people who built their businesses. Back when I was working for a company, around 25 years old, I attended an event where I had the opportunity to listen to a speaker named Brian.
He wrote a book on marketing and scaling rapidly. After the event, I approached him to get my book signed. The event’s moderator, Lawrence, was also present. I spoke to him, sharing what I was doing, and mentioned my interest in organizing larger events. I asked if he would be interested in speaking or moderating at one of our events.
That’s how we initially connected. A few months later, Lawrence invited me to join their new company as Chief Marketing Officer and partner.
This was a significant turning point in my career, and from there, I began working with startups and building accelerators.
What are some common networking mistakes people make, and how can they pivot to turn potential missteps into learning experiences?
Zamir Shukho: I believe that when people network, it’s important not to monopolize the conversation or take up all the time. When you’re in a group with several people, it’s essential to give everyone a chance to speak and introduce themselves. Another mistake to avoid is spending too much time with the same people, especially if you’re at a larger event.
Engage in small talk, introduce yourself, discuss what you do, exchange contact information, and then move on to meet others.
One more crucial aspect is follow-up. If you exchange emails or connect on LinkedIn, it’s a good practice to send a short message that reminds the person of who you are, the context of your connection, and perhaps offer the possibility of further communication, like a phone call or a separate meeting, if you believe the contact is valuable.
How do you see the future of networking evolving with the rise of AI, VR, and other technologies?
Zamir Shukho: I believe that with the rise of technology, it will become much easier to identify people you want to network with. For instance, if you have augmented reality glasses that can recognize individuals, similar to what you might see in the movie ‘RoboCop,’ you can simply look at someone, and it will provide you with a brief overview of who they are.
It could indicate whether they are an investor, a startup founder, or a corporate team manager. This way, you can approach them already armed with personalized information, including their hobbies and profession, making it easier to start a meaningful conversation and break the ice.
This approach will save you time and help you avoid engaging with individuals who may not be relevant to your goals. It also has the potential to enhance the screening process and improve follow-up interactions.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Zamir Shukho for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Zamir Shukho or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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