Niklas Zennström

Internet Entrepreneur, Disruptive Technologist, Co-Founder KaZaA, Skype, Joost & Atomico

Niklas Zennström one of today’s most talked about Internet entrepreneurs, best known for co-founding KaZaA, Skype, and Joost with his long-time business partner Janus Friis.

In addition to being one of the featured speakers at PICNIC '09, Niklas will also serve as a jury member for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2009, a competition awarding 500,000 euros to the most innovative sustainable product or service worldwide.

Niklas started his professional career at Tele2, a pioneering competitive phone company in Europe. He moved on to what would become his niche – creating breakthrough peer-to-peer technologies – with KaZaA as his first big hit. The peer-to-peer file-sharing network became the most downloaded software in 2003. His next major entrepreneurial achievement was Skype, which became the global leader in online voice communications and was sold to eBay Inc in 2005. In 2006 he co-founded Joost, an interactive software for distributing TV shows and other forms of video over the web.

Niklas’ latest project is Atomico, a venture capital firm focused on investing in consumer-facing technology.

In addition to his business ventures, Niklas founded Zennstrom Philanthropies together with his wife Cathrine to direct charitable contributions to the fields of Climate Change, Human Rights and Social Entrepreneurship.

Niklas was recognized by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People in 2006, and has received numerous other awards including ‘Business Leader of the Year 2006’ (European Voice), ‘Innovation in Computing and Communications 2006’ (Economist Innovation Awards), the ‘Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for Technology Change Agent of the Year’ in 2006, ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ (European Business Leaders Awards 2006).