Terje Mikalsen is the Chief Executive Officer of Tysvar, a privately-held strategic advisory firm focused on emerging opportunities in clean technology and health care. He is regarded as one of Norway’s most successful technology investors and entrepreneurs and has had a distinguished career in international business and investing.
He was educated as an engineer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and after serving in the Norwegian military, led the development of the world’s first computerized radar system for collision avoidance at sea. In 1967, he co-founded and served as chairman of Norsk Data, a company which manufactured the world’s first 32-bit minicomputer, became the main supplier of computers to the international nuclear research accelerator at Cern in Geneva and built F-16 Fighter Jet simulators for training pilots worldwide.
In 1972, Mr. Mikalsen created a family-owed venture capital firm which has since been called Venturos, and has a focus on information technology, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy. Through Venturos, he has been an active owner and/or board member in several companies, including Hafslund Nycomed ASA, Norway’s leading pharmaceutical company, where he served as Chairman from 1985-1996. From 1979 through 1993, he served on the Board of Tandberg ASA, a world leader in video conferencing and communication. He served on the Board of Norwegian Cruise Lines from 1993 to 2000, most of the time as Chairman. From 2003-2005, he was Chairman of Energos ASA, a supplier of turn-key waste to energy gasification plants for municipal and industrial waste. In 2010, he was named CEO of Tysvar, a privately-held strategic advisory firm focused on emerging business opportunities in clean technology and health care.
Mr. Mikalsen has also served on several boards and councils for non-profit organizations including the Council of the Stromme Foundation, the Interdenominational Council and the Annual Assembly of the Church of Norway. Putting his belief that business and entrepreneurship can help alleviate poverty, Mr. Mikalsen has served since 2007 as part-time CEO of a small telecom company in Uganda that imports and refurbishes used mobile phones and distributes them to the country’s budding entrepreneurs.
He was elected as a life-time member of the Norwegian Technical Science Academy in 1993, given the Golden Mouse Award by Computerworld in 1996 and awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He has been a member of the Norwegian Prime Minister’s Industrial Advisory Committee under three different governments and served on the Board of SND, now part of Innovation Norway, the national business development organization.
Mr. Mikalsen currently resides with his wife Ellen in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.