Giorgi Tukhashvili, the co-founder and CEO of Kernel, a successful Georgian startup that helps small and medium enterprises digitize their invoices, died in a tragic skiing accident in Bakuriani on January 22, 2024. He was 36 years old and is survived by his mother, wife, and children.
A Passionate Entrepreneur and Innovator
Tukhashvili was a prominent figure in the Georgian startup ecosystem, as he co-founded and led Kernel, one of the most promising and fast-growing tech companies in the country. Kernel’s mission is to simplify and automate the invoicing process for SMEs, saving them time and money. According to its website, Kernel has over 10,000 customers and processes more than 100,000 invoices per month.
Tukhashvili was also a co-director of Startup Grind Tbilisi, a global community that connects and educates entrepreneurs. He organized and hosted numerous events, workshops, and networking sessions for aspiring and established founders, sharing his insights and experience. He was known for his enthusiasm, generosity, and vision.
A Devastating Loss for the Community
The news of Tukhashvili’s death shocked and saddened the Georgian startup community, as well as his friends, family, and colleagues. Many people expressed their condolences and tributes on social media, remembering him as a kind, smart, and inspiring person.
The Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), a government agency that supports the development of the tech sector, issued a statement on its Facebook page, saying:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Giorgi Tukhashvili, the co-founder and CEO of Kernel, one of the most successful Georgian startups. Giorgi was a great entrepreneur, innovator, and leader, who contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Georgian startup ecosystem. He was also a wonderful person, who touched the lives of many people with his warmth, humor, and passion. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and team. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.”
A Reminder of the Risks of Skiing
Tukhashvili’s death also serves as a reminder of the potential dangers of skiing, especially on crowded and poorly maintained slopes. According to the available information, Tukhashvili was skiing at a high speed on one of the tracks in Bakuriani, when he collided with another person. The impact caused him severe injuries, and he died on the spot.
Skiing accidents are not uncommon in Georgia, as the country attracts many tourists and locals who enjoy the winter sports. However, the safety standards and regulations are often inadequate or ignored, resulting in injuries and fatalities. According to the Georgian Ski Federation, there were 12 deaths and 118 injuries related to skiing in the 2022-2023 season.
Experts and activists have been calling for more investment and oversight in the ski resorts, as well as more awareness and education among the skiers, to prevent such tragedies from happening again.