CEO of Kraus Aerospace
Stefan David Kraus CEO, Kraus Aerospace Over the course of 18 years, Stefan Kraus has been a highly effective Entrepreneur and CEO who has formed and grown extremely successful public and private companies. In 2012, ‘Who’s Who South Africa’ officially recognized Stefan as being ranked #2 in South Africa in their list of ‘Noteworthy Entrepreneurs’. Stefan has a rare ability to transition between the executive domains through to extremely technical functions, making him highly effective at understanding complex business problems, identifying opportunities, and defining effective technology solutions and future proofing solutions. With a multidisciplinary background ranging from process control through to aerospace and cyber security, Stefan applies ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to continuously adapt and advance businesses to success. He brings an International perspective based on his experience successfully launching companies both domestically and abroad, with Atlanta being his home. Stefan was one of the first to hold the CISSP qualification in South Africa. The CISSP qualification is certified by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in both Information Assurance Technical (IAT) and Managerial (IAM) categories for the DoDD 8570 certification requirement, and has been adopted as a baseline for the U.S. National Security Agency’s ISSEP program. Stefan started his career at a South African startup ‘Integrity Solutions Providers’ in the process control industry. Within one year of joining the team, he primed the business for a merger that included three key South African process-control and engineering companies to form BeST Holdings (PTY) Ltd. As a founding shareholder in BeST, Stefan positioned the company to compete and successfully win large-scale industrial-technology contracts including Sasol (NYSE: SSL), BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL), and the BT Group (NYSE: BT). Following that, Stefan founded the cyber-security company ‘Cubico Solutions Corporation’ and successfully brought to market a leading vulnerability management platform called Foresight, competing with both Qualys and McAfee Foundstone. Stefan successfully matured the business to become Southern Africa’s largest vulnerability management provider from a revenue perspective with over 1,000,000 annual endpoint audits and clients as diverse as ABSA Bank, the South African Government and major telecommunications companies throughout Africa. Further, Stefan successfully orchestrated the acquisition of Cubico by Gijima, a publicly traded company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE: GIJ). At Gijima, Stefan was responsible for Foresight’s ongoing strategy, technology direction, and market evangelism. Within 30 months of the acquisition, Stefan grew the Foresight business into the most profitable business-unit within the Gijima group. Stefan further invested into a Hong Kong based payments company and joined as co-CEO. He was responsible in executing the company’s mission to build trust in the global payments industry, and successfully developed and implemented their reseller model that spanned worldwide. In 2014, Stefan was instrumental in founding First Performance Global and served as the founding President and CEO, then later transitioning into directing special projects for the company. First Performance developed the GogoNogo card control technology, allowing cardholders to turn their credit and debit cards ON and OFF using their mobile phone. Stefan successfully orchestrated a world-first licensing deal with MasterCard International for patent IP in the payment instrument control space. First Performance recently closed a financing round taking the company to a $60 Million valuation. In early 2016, Stefan assembled a key management team, formed Kraus Aerospace and developed the K-1000 (Group 1) UAV. With intimate knowledge of the UAS market, Stefan pivoted the business of Kraus Aerospace from the highly competitive and saturated UAS manufacturing/sales market to address a worldwide need for effective Contractor-Owned and Contractor-Operated medium-to-long range aerial Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) as a Service. Stefan negotiated an arrangement with an OEM manufacturer in the Baltics to develop a specialized mid-sized (Group 2) UAS, and in mid 2016 introduced the AR-33 UAV platform based on an airframe with specialized day and night-IR based optical technology customized for a persistent wide-area ISR service delivery model. The AR-33 forms the basis of a highly cost-effective ISR platform without export control limitations imposed by ITAR. Stefan is a ‘Blue Bulls’ Rugby fan, first-time father to an incredible little boy, serial entrepreneur and car enthusiast.
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About Kraus Aerospace: Smart-Persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (SP-ISR) using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)