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LavaPi - a company helping others to digitalize their business processes

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"One evening in 2018, me and my close circle of friends gathered to talk about starting a business that applied all the knowledge, skills and experience we had gained over the years. We knew that our enthusiasm, motivation, qualifications, and years of work experience in senior managerial positions would make us a pretty good team. LavaPi was founded because we shared a great interest in startups and technological innovations, as well as the desire to be part of the technological revolution in Georgia," CEO of LavaPi, Teona Kelaptrishvili tells Entrepreneur of the founding of a company that now helps other companies to digitalize their business processes.

Kelaptrishvili recalls that the whole team devoted all their free time to building up the startup, all while juggling their existing jobs. However, everything flipped 180 degrees when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leading to companies struggling to manage their business operations remotely- even large companies faced obstacles in digitalizing their processes.

"At 19, I started working at a telecommunications company. Over the years since, I have worked in marketing, branding, international relations, and technology," Kelaptrishvili tells us. "While working, I won a 100% scholarship and defended my master's degree at the Faculty of Business Technologies at the Technical University of Georgia. In 2018, I received full funding from the European Union and continued my studies in Poland, where, in 2020, I obtained another master's degree in business communications.

"The growth, development, and establishment of LavaPi as one of the market's most robust IT solutions and services providers was triggered by the pandemic," she says. "We actively started recruiting talented people, and we are proud that today the LavaPi team consists of an energetic, motivated, and knowledgeable group which is happy to tackle challenges and exciting projects, use modern technologies, and whose every member believes in the digitalization of the world."

Realizing that it was time for LavaPi to move to the next stage of development, Kelaptrishvili returned to Georgia in 2020 filled with knowledge, new experiences, a desire for challenges, and an ambitious business plan.

As the LavaPi co-founder points out, starting any business requires courage, especially in a competitive market. Kelaptrishvili says she believes that LavaPi might not have made it so far if it were not for its talented and professional team uniting around a single purpose.

"While working on the endeavor, the biggest challenge was that Georgian companies did not yet believe in digitizing business processes or see the need to develop business applications and websites. That is why the LavaPi team launched its services on the international market first, where cloud technologies were already quite popular."

"The biggest challenge was gaining trust in the Georgian company," Kelaptrishvili tells us. "We were often asked whether we were working in Georgia in compliance with European and American standards. It wasn't easy, but we proved that the world needed a software company like LavaPi. Our success was achieved by implementing international standards and promoting innovative technologies. Those foreign companies that once looked at us suspiciously are now partners of LavaPi."

She tells us that dealing with stereotypes also proved to be quite challenging.

"Establishing the notion that young female entrepreneurs can deliver results took time and effort. During my first customer meetings, I always had to discuss my experience and qualifications to gain trust. Now that LavaPi is a strong company in the tech industry, I no longer have to prove that female managers are a great force, and neither age nor gender matters when things are getting done, as the results speak for themselves," she notes, adding that running a business taught her that there are more failures than victories at the initial stage.

"However, an entrepreneur should keep up their motivation!" she says, elaborating on this with the idea that an entrepreneur is someone who first turns a dream into an ambitious goal, and then turns that goal into a successful business.

"If you want to grow your business, forget working hours, holidays and weekends off. The key to success is being engaged in your business, and working tirelessly, 24/7," the entrepreneur says. "Women and girls who want to start their own business should think about a product or service with a strong market demand. Also, they should find a mentor, expand their circle of acquaintances, listen to the opinions of others and not be afraid of obstacles. I am happy to share my experience and professional advice with people starting out on their business ventures.

"Inspiration is also essential for continuous motivation. In my case, I am inspired by the employees, their ideas, vision, creativity; how the whole team is united around innovations, and how we want to contribute to the digital industry with the technologies of LavaPi," Kelaptrishvili tells us.

2023 was a busy year for LavaPi, seeing the team working on new projects and developing their existing products in parallel. In addition, they participated in world-class tech conferences, became A-level members of the American Chamber of Commerce, successfully completed paid internship programs, and hired students. Furthermore, they have been developing a subsidiary company of LavaPi - LavaCruit, which offers companies high-quality HR administration and recruiting services. By the end of 2024, LavaPi is aiming for the growth of the company and team, and the introduction of new technologies to the Georgian market.

"In the first half of 2024, we will introduce a corporate cloud communication product - Lavaping, exclusively for companies. In the second half of the year, we will announce two more new products for corporate call centers and logistics companies. We're also working on a number of activities for students and people interested in technology, to be held throughout the year. We can't complain about a lack of plans, so wish us success, and stay tuned!" Kelaptrishvili says.

ელენე ლომსაძე


ინოვაციებისა და საერთაშორისო პროექტების გუნდის წევრი Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship, Germany-ში. Google Global I/O Extended-ის თანაორგანიზატორი.

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