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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