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Meet Chris Nielsen of Levatas in Palm Beach County, just North of Miami

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Nielsen.

Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Levatas was born in my South Florida garage back in 2006. After selling my first website project, I immediately hired my friend who knew how to code to help me build it. (I may or may not have paid him with fast food.) We worked really well together–and still do to this day– but we knew we needed more help. So we found a small office a few miles away from my garage and started arming our newly formed digital agency with more designers, developers, and project leads.

Soon enough we’d outgrown that space too and moved to a bigger office in Palm Beach Gardens where we operate still today. The type of work we did evolved as well and started including software development, digital marketing, and advertising agency services. Fast forward to now, Levatas employs more than 100 professionals who work on digital transformation and digital customer experience initiatives with world-class brands like FPL, Office Depot, Nasdaq, IBM, Dell, and more.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any small business, we ran into operational challenges early on. I realized pretty quickly that I needed to balance my strengths, which were client relationships, design, and a passion for innovation, with someone who could take the reins and handle operations and business administration. That’s when I hired Ryan Gay, who ultimately became my business partner, and is now Levatas’ CEO. That partnership with Ryan, and division of responsibility between us was probably the single biggest factor that enabled those early years of rampant acceleration as a business.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Levatas story. Tell us more about the business.
Levatas is a digital transformation agency, and at the highest level, we help good companies solve hard problems. I think I can safely say that this underlying focus will always be a driving force here at Levatas. Our outputs on the other hand — the things we make, the things we make better, the tech we develop — these change over time. If you would have asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have told you we create websites. If you asked 5 years ago, I would have said we offer digital services that are at the intersection of marketing and technology.

Right now, we are making significant investments in data solutions, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning. Technology is constantly changing and we help businesses adapt and thrive in that changing landscape. But at our core, regardless of what we deliver to our clients, we’re still in the business of helping companies overcome challenges and provide their customers with great digital experiences.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Data and the business insights we pull from it is everything today. At this point, it is literally more valuable than oil. It’s sometimes tough to nail down the specifics when it comes to the “next big thing” in technology, but no matter where it leads us you can be sure it will rely heavily on data. So at least for the near future, that’s where we’re investing a lot of our time and resources. That said, and more tangibly, we do have some big plans for expanding and are currently exploring new office locations in major markets, such as our new office location in NYC.

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