Val Sopi is the founder of boldUnderline. llc
Val Sopi started boldUnderline. llc back in 2009 after spending some 9 years in US. After betting having enough of the fast-paced life of New York City where he was working as a designer, he wanted to return back home and start anew.
While in US, he studied Graphic Design at Montclair State University, then worked for Advertising Agencies, Design Studios, and at one point, just before returning at the NBA (National Basketball Association). He even started his design studio at the age of 24 while being in a foreign country.
Upon return he started working for Ogivly as the head of its Interactive Department in Prishtina. Working at Ogivly gave him the chance to be a part of the team that brought award-winning NEWBORN to life, to mark the independence of Kosovo.
In 2009 he started boldUnderline as a design studio that catered to Organization in Prishtina as well as medium-sized for-profit enterprises. Accidentally, each spring since 2009 boldUnderline has produced something new that came out of its quarters. Products like Listime (marketplace), Borozani, and Goodwerp came out of BOLD, each successive spring.
In 2011, Val and few of his other graphic design colleagues wanted something more and started a design conference kindly named REDO as everything in design is redone and we're never happy. With just an idea, Val and another colleague raised 5000€ to cover the expenses of the conference. The conference proved to be a much needed event for the design community, and then more people joined the organizing staff to make it even bigger. Newer speakers from around the world started coming, from the likes of: [list names of people] In 2015, after 4-years of serving as a co-founder, and board member, Val left REDO to focus on his other newer projects. REDO at this point was in better hands and leaving it behind proved to a be a continuous success.
In 2013, Val embarked on another bigger and more ambitious project. Since 2012 he was toying with an idea to start an online product that would help design-studios around the world. The product named Goodwerp, would cover: project management, time-tracking, finance, sales pipeline, and reporting. It was quite a big undertaking considering the market was global, yet it was being created in Kosovo.
6 weeks after launch, Goodwerp gained its first paid customer. Each month after that it proved to grow steadily. While, a few promised investments via New York didn't fall through, Val invested most of his savings in this product. Followed, short-lists in Bulgaria's Launchub, Top-10 in Startup Istanbul among hundreds of startups from Europe and MENA region, Startup Sauna selection. Mentions in Forbes, Val's personal interview in NPR with Ari Shapiro, The Economist, Saascribe, etc.
Goodwerp gained clients from Shanghai, to Los Angeles, to Botswana, Greece, UK, Finland... (list all countries) — and we did it all from Kosovo.
Support for Goodwerp came via Innovation Centre Kosovo, EYE, and the Norwegian Embassy.
While learning many lessons of running a global startup product another product was born. Now it was time for Vavingo, which was solely a task management software for dev teams.
Startup Weekend Support / Mentoring & Advising
Then came Fatural, invoicing software for Kosovo.
After some 8 years in business by making hundreds of websites for clients, doing about 4 products, producing 1 conference, it was time to rebrand ourselves and realign with our core ideas — what matters to us most: producing great work for clients, for users, for anyone using anything we create for the web. After all, it's our responsibility for making the web a better place. Not just for our clients, but for our client's clients.
Now in 2017 and beyond we have a new focus on concentrating on producing better work, with more flexible prices and payment methods, as well as delivering much faster and offering continuous support and maintenance so our clients always shine.
In the next 5-years we're razor sharp focused to deliver more great work for select clients in Kosovo, Switzerland, and in areas we have not delivered yet, particularly far-east, Japan — which is a focus of ours.
Through this time, since boldunderline's inception in 2009, Val got married, became a father twice, build a house, traveled in more places than he ever planned, appeared in some global magazines, got international visibility, and yet enjoys his down to earth life of mowing the lawn on weekends.