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EBRD and EU help Georgian digital agency expand abroad

By Nina Tsintsadze

The EBRD and the European Union have supported the group of creative entrepreneurs in ushering in a solid organisational structure and expanding internationally.

© Leavingstone. The photo was taken before the current Covid-19 restrictions. 

Advice puts Leavingstone on world’s digital map

If creativity is intelligence having fun, the digital agency Leavingstone in Georgia must be full of incredible people having the time of their lives. Founded by four best friends in 2010, this creative agency has won people’s hearts and minds with memorable multimedia, guerrilla marketing campaigns and striking prints.

The EBRD and the European Union have supported the group of creative entrepreneurs in ushering in a solid organisational structure and expanding internationally.

Planning for growth

The company was founded back in 2010 when the digital world was not as established as it is today. Leavingstone excelled and became the market leader in a matter of years. It’s easy to understand why.

Imagine a traditional, idyllic Georgian countryside where zombies work alongside local farmers helping them with everyday tasks. It may sound out of the ordinary, but this was a campaign dedicated to the launch of a new season for the famous TV series The Walking Dead.

For the 100th anniversary of Georgia’s declaration of independence, Leavingstone took the celebration to social media. To remind Georgian youth of key historic facts, it created virtual profiles of public figures and, through their posts, check-ins and photos reconstructed the timeline that led to one of the most important dates in the country’s history.

Having won many awards, Leavingstone topped things off by becoming the first Georgian agency to receive a Cannes Lion, the Oscar of the creative world. This was followed by a time of reflection.  

“Being the largest agency in Georgia, we needed formal operational procedures without losing the essence of what makes Leavingstone such an inspiring company. With an eye on international markets, our aim was to understand what’s ticking out there and to attract more world-class brands as partners,” says Erekle Zurmukhtashvili, CEO.

A trip to remember

With support from the EBRD and the EU, an international adviser helped the company to come up with a new mission statement and a handbook detailing company policies and procedures. Reorganisation within the company opened the path to more structured, scalable ways of delivering first-class work.  

These strategic changes were followed by a trip to remember. As a result of a business matching visit to Berlin, Leavingstone’s international clients spiked from two to 10: the company inked contracts with such giants as Siemens, Zeiss, Deutsche Telekom, Netflix and the Fox Broadcasting Company, ultimately translating into boosted incomes.

“We went to Berlin because we wanted to learn about and lay the foundations for possible future business with German clients. Now, we are already working on the first projects and opening up an office in Berlin,” says Erekle.

“The changes relating to new management tools, a clear vision and the dedication to focus on local and global markets has helped us move to a new level in spite of the challenging year,” he adds.

What’s next?

The Leavingstone team has been steadily developing partnership relationships with local and international clients, using creativity to solve their problems in the most rewarding and efficient ways. The company has also continued to nurture its long-term relationships.

A diverse talent pool, an open mind, flexibility and a structured roadmap – these form the recipe for Leavingstone’s optimistic outlook for the future.

“This is the beginning of a new, exciting and challenging journey and there is room for continuous growth, staying relevant and adapting to the changing environment forced upon us by the coronavirus pandemic. We are proud of the road that Leavingstone has chosen and are excited for what is yet to come,” Erekle concludes.

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