Introducing Our Captain: Ole Vidar Hestaas

Ole and his son, Andreas talk about creating Kudos

Ole is a native of Norway where he initially founded Kudos.  A serial entrepreneur, Ole managed several successful companies. He also holds several patents. Some of his patents are in use in mobile banking and have hundreds of thousands of users.

Ole was inspired to build a safer social app when his seven-year-old son asked for permission to open an account on a social media platform where the age limit was 13. Not finding it suitable, but not having any alternatives at hand, Ole set out to build one under the advisement from children’s advocacy group Save the Children Norway, the Norwegian Media Authority and the interest group ICT Norway.

With four children of his own, Ole saw a disturbing trend in the amount of online cyberbullying that occurs with adolescent use of social media.  Therefore, he developed the app not only to be a safe sharing space but also as a way for kids to learn responsible online behavior.

The mounting negative effect of bullying through social media is having a great impact at all levels of our society and is especially dangerous for . Ole became even more convinced that it was critical to teach children at an early age how to behave appropriately online.  It is this mission that is at the core of the creation of Kudos.   

In order to extend the reach of the product and grow the user base Ole, moved the company to Silicon Valley where he found “people are really open and want to help you to reach your goals”.

Ole originally wanted to become a pilot and has certainly achieved a significant number of air miles managing the company on both sides of the Atlantic.   Famous for his unfailing positive attitude and killer Mac and Cheese, Ole has assembled a powerful team to help him implement his critical mission.

By teaching children that everything they do has an impact and that what they say and do matters, Ole believes that Kudos will create a massive shift in the way children behave when they enter the world of social media.