VezaTalks 030: Geir Christian Karlsen


Mario Milanovic


Geir Christian Karlsen

34:00 Min
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1. Let’s Meet Geir

Geir Christian Karlsen is the Founder and CEO of Apps Company, Incorporated, and a member of the World Economic Forum Tech for Integrity Initiative.

Geir is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the technology field who has founded multiple successful technology companies in Norway, the USA, Slovakia, and Serbia.

Geir has also held various board and advisory roles across the globe and is renowned for his expertise in blockchain security and digital privacy.

2. Life Lessons

Hockey played a huge role in Geir’s life, he was in the Top League of Norway and also had the opportunity to play in the US during my final year of high school as an exchange student.

He believes you can learn a lot from any sport you engage in, as they all foster important qualities that can be applied to entrepreneurship and life in general.

“Sports instill invaluable lessons in competitiveness and teamwork, forming a solid foundation for success in the dynamic business landscape” -Geir

Following his hockey career, Geir worked as an IT consultant.

However, during that time, he also got involved with player unions since he suffered an injury while playing in Norway's Top League at the age of 26.

He joined the player union for ice hockey and also represented football players, as football and handball unions were combined.

It was an interesting period, advocating for players' rights and working on various initiatives globally. Afterward, I dived into entrepreneurship and started my first company.

3. Unlocking Growth & Maximizing Potential

Geir’s current company, Apps Company emerged from his background in HR.

Initially, he founded a successful HR company called Evolution Software, which automated various HR processes.

This experience led his team to develop identity and access management solutions, addressing the challenges faced during onboarding and offboarding employees, particularly in hybrid environments.

Geir expanded the company to incorporate core HR functionalities and realized the critical need for data security.

Recognizing that no system is entirely hack-proof, we adopted a different approach. Instead of aiming for absolute prevention, we focused on data protection and minimizing the risks.

They achieved this through tokenization, where sensitive data is exchanged for tokens, rendering it useless to hackers.

Additionally, they employed encryption techniques that enable data access control through the users themselves, rather than centralized systems.

Geir explained that blockchain technology plays a role in securing devices and storing encrypted data.

By incorporating additional security layers like biometrics and business rules, such as device validation and location-based access, they can further safeguard data and enhance overall security.

They provide innovative security solutions that protect individuals and businesses in today's vulnerable digital landscape.

Currently, the company consists of approximately 40 employees, with offices in Norway and Belgrade, Serbia.

With the primary focus markets are Europe and the US, where we have a strong presence. However, Geir’s team are also exploring growth opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region through a joint venture in Abu Dhabi.

In the coming months, the goal is to further expand our reach in these markets, particularly in the areas of HR and security.

Geir’s believes that data protection is of utmost importance, especially considering the increasing threats faced by individuals and organizations.

4. The Importance of Privacy & Democracy

Geir stresses the need to protect personal data and urges a reconsideration of widespread surveillance practices.

He advocates for decentralized systems and suggests leveraging blockchain technology for secure and transparent voting processes. 

Geir spoke on his involvement with the World Economic Forum. 

While acknowledging some controversies surrounding the organization, he underscores the importance of advocating for free speech, democracy, and individual data protection.

He encourages the WEF to address these critical issues and urges a more decentralized and community-focused approach.

Final Thoughts

Geir left us off with important personal message saying the importance of introspection and self-reflection, acknowledging the transient nature of life and its profound impact on all aspects. He emphasizes the need to prioritize this awareness.

In his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, Geir highlights the significance of identifying genuine market needs, fostering close relationships with clients, and maintaining a forward-thinking approach to stay ahead of the curve.

If you want the full experience watch the podcast now!

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