Casey Kuhlman

Casey Kuhlman

Formal First Name

Casey Kuhlman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Monax Industries, a blockchain-based contract management system for small businesses. Prior to this, he served as the Head of Legal Information Systems at the Open Data Institute. Kuhlman is a well-known lawyer and software engineer specializing in legal process management, smart contracts, and decentralized autonomous organizations. He has extensive experience at the intersection of law and economic development, particularly in the Horn of Africa.

Professional Experience

Academic History


Kuhlman's background is anything but traditional for somebody in the open data sector. He has a rare collection of unrelated experiences: working with the government, developing software, and working with open data.


  • Kuhlman was an infantry officer in the Marines.
  • He was among the group of soldiers to pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein during the liberation of Iraq


  • Kuhlman was the Founder of Watershed Legal Services, a full-service law firm in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
  • His practice focused on advising foreign entities in compliance areas.
  • He worked with the prosecutor’s office of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where he worked on The Prosecutor v. Charles Taylor.
  • He worked with the Public International Law & Policy Group as the Chief of Party for the Somaliland Project, which focused on developing the capacity of the Somaliland Parliament.
  • He also provided expert international legal advice to the Parliament.


  • Kuhlman is an avid software engineer and free and open-source advocate.
  • He has worked on open-source projects at the intersection of legal practice and legislative development.
  • In his free time, he works on systems of smart contracts with a particular focus on automating regulatory compliance in contractual instruments.


Kuhlman credits much of his success in the entrepreneurial space to his time as a Marine. Here are three lessons he learned from his experience as a service member:

Lesson #1: Somebody always has to go first, and that shouldn’t scare you.

  • “My Marine training put in my mind this idea that there is always a pathway. In an entrepreneurial context, you need your business to reso to reso to reso to resonate in the market. This could mean opening a new market or building a new product.”
  • He believes that those who serve have a lower fear threshold than the standard general populous. He credits this mindset and describes, “It has positioned me for success in a strong way.”

Lesson #2: Move forward, no matter how limited your resources may be.

  • Casey found himself responsible for the cultivation of his initial resources.
  • "The advantage my military training gave me as I moved and worked in my own small business, was laser-focus on accomplishing the mission, no matter how many or how few resources I may have.”

Lesson #3: Stay mission-focused.

  • “As the founder of a tech startup, there are a number of decisions that have the potential to take my mental capacity away from focusing on my mission at hand. As a veteran with a vision, my military training helped establish a framework for focusing and filtering out the noise, which I’ve used time and time again."


Kuhlman has appeared as a guest on Real Vision.