Northzone

Growth investors since 1996

Geir Førre


After his previous company was acquired by Texas Instruments, one of the biggest players in the semiconductor industry, Geir Førre felt his entrepreneur genes calling for new challenges.

What was more natural then than to found Energy Micro and directly compete with the industry leaders by introducing the world's most energy friendly microcontrollers?

Geir, a father of 4, lives in Oslo and has a diploma showing that he has finished the Great Wall Marathon in China. A strong believer in challenges, big or small, he introduced a rule at his new company, Energy Micro, that all employees should walk the stairs in the 6 story building rather than taking the elevator. It must have worked, because the 60 members strong team of Energy Micro has become one of the real contenders in the low power microcontroller market, feared by its more slow moving contenders and respected and loved by embedded designers. 

Geir's story started with a MSEE in microelectronics, followed by a career as a researcher at SINTEF, a large multi-technology research institution. After 4 years, in 1996, he started Chipcon with two fellow colleages. By chance he became the CEO, and according to himself, enjoyed it so much that he stayed in the leadership role until Texas instruments took over 10 years later. Then in 2007, after some thinking, the mission of Energy Micro became clear; to make the world's most energy friendly microcontrollers, based on industry standard ARM Cortex-M processor cores. Now, in it's 4th year, Energy Micro has a 240 device strong family portfolio of products.

On the future, Geir reveals: "My focus is completely on making Energy Micro a very successful venture and I do not spend much time on anything else. However, there is one thing that I am pretty sure of: that I will not start another company. When Energy Micro has become a great success I will have already turned 50. To start a company with ambitions like Energy Micro demands so much dedication and hard work that I doubt I’d be able to do it a third time."