The founder of a Baltimore tech startup, whose professional accomplishments earned her a spot on Forbes' 30 under 30 list earlier this year, was found dead in an apartment Monday morning, according to city police.
Baltimore police found Pava LaPere, 26, Monday morning after she was reported missing. Her body showed signs of blunt force trauma. Authorities released her name in a news release Tuesday morning.
Police have launched a homicide investigation but have not provided any information about a possible suspect or motive. Public records suggest that LaPere lived at the apartment complex where his body was found.
LaPere, who graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2019, founded the startup EcoMap Technologies. The company focuses on curating data from business, nonprofit and educational ecosystems and making it easier to access and interpret, according to its website. Its clients include Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and the T. Rowe Price Foundation.
In a statement Tuesday, colleagues described her as “a deeply compassionate and dedicated leader.”
"Her tireless commitment to our company, to Baltimore, to amplifying critical ecosystem work across the country, and to building a deeply inclusive culture as a leader, friend, and partner, set a standard for leadership," the staff wrote. from EcoMap.
In another statement issued Tuesday, Johns Hopkins officials expressed their condolences for the recent graduate who “made Baltimore her home and invested her talents in our city.”
"Pava was well known and loved in the Baltimore business community and will be deeply missed," they said.
LaPere also founded a nonprofit that helped support student entrepreneurs throughout Maryland, according to his LinkedIn page.
At the beginning of this year, Forbes named her to the 30 under 30 list for her social impact.
On her LinkedIn profile, she described herself as a technology CEO "who believes in hyperlocal, ecosystem-based economic development to create a more equitable future for all communities." She posted on Instagram about how she founded the startup from her college dorm room and how she watched it grow into a strong, successful company.
“To be honest, running this company has been harder than I ever imagined,” he said in a video posted on social media in April by the nonprofit Baltimore Homecoming. “But I get really excited every time we launch a new platform because we get to see the thousands of people using it to find the information they need in their community.”