John Roa is a serial tech entrepreneur and long time Chicagoan. He got his entrepreneurial start by creating a computer repair business at 14 and hasn't stopped since. Last year, he sold ÄKTA, his tech-consulting and design firm, to Salesforce. Now John is planning to invest in other Chicago startups via Roa Ventures, a fund that focuses on "early-stage investments, projects and experiments". He has also created the non-profit, Digital Hope, and enjoys playing competitive poker and traveling extensively.
In This Episode You Will Learn:
- How John got started as an entrepreneur
- Why he started AKTA and where the name comes from
- What John attributes the success of AKTA to
- How John made the the decision to sell AKTA?
- If he would take venture capital if he could do it again
- Problems he sees in taking venture capital
- Why he's investing instead of starting another startup
- John's criteria for his next startup
- What draws John to travel? He has been to 50+ countries.
- How to build a brand as a new angel investor?
- Similarities between poker and startups
- What Chicago tech is good at & what we could improve on
- Why John doesn’t believe in giving advice
Selected Links From The Episode:
- 6 Ways Playing Poker Can Help You in Business (and 2 Ways It Can't) by John Roa
- The Grand Voyage
- Robert Nand, Founder of The Grand Voyage
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
- Bevy: a Chicago startup delivering everything you need, but don’t want to own, for amazing experiences. Own Less. Live More.