Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet Pål-Robert - Co-founder, CTO and senior developer

Welcome to Maritime Optima Pål-Robert. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you, I am glad to be here! The short answer is that I’m a Software entrepreneur. Since I graduated from NTH (now NTNU) in 1996, actually since a couple years before that, I have spent most of my time programming and with software startups.

The longest non-startup stint was 7 years with Kongsberg Maritime / Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies after they acquired Systems in Motion AS. Kongsberg was a great place to learn how a successful corporation is operated, lessons that are invaluable to scaling any company.

Another passion since childhood has been boats, ships and maritime life. I spent a couple of years in the Navy, one year as a technical petty officer on a frigate, I just loved the combination of technology and naval operations. This is obviously part of the reason why Maritime Optima is attractive to me.

I have three kids, two of them old enough to protest that term loudly, and a wife who is miraculously patient and supportive of my entrepreneurial condition.

What do you hope to achieve as CTO of Maritime Optima?

The immediate goal is to help our development team become a “lean, mean delivery machine”, completing the product for launch and then making the next modules. Longer term my ambition is to apply analysis and machine learning - passions of mine - to helping our customers achieve better situational awareness with less effort, making more profitable decisions. There is literally an ocean of data that is available, or can be made available, just waiting for someone to turn it into actionable information.

There are so many digital maritime initiatives around and start-ups - what do you think is unique with Maritime Optima?

In one word: Kristin. In more words, Kristin has a tremendous understanding of and personal network in the shipping industry. She uses her personal experience to inform our product development, focussing on solving real problems. The company also has access to a unique network of partners and investors - just look at how we were able to secure additional financing in the middle of the corona crises.

Kristin and I built and sold two companies together over the last 6 years, that’s i-Sea AS and Rendra AS, so there is a robust track record here, we have been through some very challenging situations together. I am confident that we will see, address and solve the various problems that the world will throw at us.

Kristin adds:

Thanks Pål-Robert, but you and I are a great entrepreneurial team. We have complementary skills and very different personalities, but we share the same passion and goals.

We, like most entrepreneurs, have had many reasons for giving up our past adventures, because building a company from scratch is demanding and challenging, but we didn't. I am looking so much forward working with you again and we will build Maritime Optima together. A strong and unified team complementing each other's knowledge and personality will always be able to find solutions to problems and challenges en route.

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