People who have been able to keep up with Torleifï¿½s pace for more than 10 minutes should know his multi-skilled drive and talent. Several people have described him as an energetic Jack of all Trades; a business person, a research scientist and an extremely competitive sportsman. “But I still want to be really, really good at what I do, and that requires attitude, passion and hard work”, says Torleif Ahlsand reflectively. “In Northzone I’m free to play on everything in my background and personality; I’m loving it.”
Torleif joined Northzone in 2000 after a selection process that might well be used as a blueprint for Northzone’s own investment process. Prior to Northzone, Torleif was VP of Corporate Finance in Handelsbanken Capital Markets and a corporate development executive - which is companese for “the M&A Business Strategy-guy” - in Orkla ASA. Torleif also has a professional technical background as a research scientist at CERN outside Geneva (“that”, he remarks, “was rocket-science stuff”) and as a telecommunications engineer in Nera ASA.
What about the sportsman side? Outside the office, you’re most likely to find Torleif exploring new limits in hard-core activities such as rock-climbing, kiting, MTB, kayaking, or - as one would suspect from a Norwegian - skiing. He is former Nordic student champion in Skiathlon, and continues to place among the top 1% in cross-country races like Vasaloppet and Birkebeiner’n. Probably the best VC skier out there!
Torleif holds a M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from NTNU (1991) and an MBA with Honours from IMD in Switzerland (1997).
Torleif serves as Chairman of the Board of Funcom, Colibria, and Orecon and as Director in Nimsoft and Imagini. He has also served as Director in Tinde, Intility and Photonyx.