Ragnar Kruse

Ragnar Kruse

Ragnar Kruse

As a serial entrepreneur with 40+ years experience in IT, Ragnar understands the unique opportunities and challenges in bringing new technologies to International markets. He has built up several successful companies from inception to market launch and IPO in both the US and Europe.

Ragnar is Founding Partner and Managing Director of the AI.GROUP which consists of the not for profit AI network AI.HAMBURG, the Venture Capital Fund AI.FUND and the Venture Studio AI.IMPACT.

He is also Co-Founder of the AI.STARTUP.HUB, an accelerator funded by the German Government; the Transatlantic aiXchange and the AI4Germany network.

All activities have the aim of bringing AI into the economy, promoting AI startups and providing international AI expertise to companies. Accelerating AI adoption, working with universities to implement AI education programs, as well as supporting the growth of promising AI start-ups and deepen the exchange between the US and Germany between experts, startups, investors in the AI ecosystems is the goal.

AI with a positive Impact for humanity is at the heart of all his activities.

He is:

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of ENAPTER AG (AEM Electrolysers)
  • Deputy Head Region North of the KI Bundesverband
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the German American Chamber of Commerce GACCNY

Previously he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Smaato and developed the company into the leading independent global mobile real time advertising and ad optimization platform. Smaato’s world headquarters were in San Francisco and offices in New York, Hamburg, Berlin, Singapore, Shanghai and Jakarta. As an industry pioneer and leader, Smaato provide Ads for Apps, that delivered 70 billion + ads monthly to more than 70,000 app developers and publishers that use Smaato to monetize their content in 230 countries.

At Intershop Communications, a leader in E-Commerce software solutions, Ragnar was VP of Sales and Marketing based in San Francisco. During his tenure, Ragnar was instrumental in the company’s growth and ushering it through a successful IPO on NASDAQ and the “Neuer Markt” in 1998.

Ragnar held key management positions at high-tech companies in the U.S. and Europe including eCharge (online payment provider) and Xtramind (artificial intelligence and language technology). Through his many years in IT, Ragnar maintains strong relationships with companies in the online, telecommunications and mobile sectors.

Ragnar started his career as a successful entrepreneur already when he was 17.

In 1981, he founded IPT International Product Trading, a computer retail business that imported products into Germany from the USA and Asia. In 1987 he expanded his business by starting DTP Partner GmbH, one of the largest distribution companies in Germany with exclusivity for several products from the US and Asia. He was the largest distributor for Corel Draw in Europe.

He also founded the DTP Academy, which owned and managed 11 state of the art computer training centers throughout Germany.

Ragnar studied law at the universities of Munich and Hamburg, Germany.