ÄKTA is a digital experience and engagement consultancy founded on three core principles: First, a healthy obsession with authentic quality. Second, an unwavering commitment to the satisfaction and happiness of our clients and their users. Third, an awareness of, and appreciation for, the constantly evolving market that keeps us focused on designing agile, useful products with a long lifespan.
With ÄKTA, what you see is what you get: a straightforward, transparent, strategic approach from a team of brilliant minds. We've come together from across the world to work for a company we believe in and a mission we're passionate about: providing our clients with beautiful and intuitive products designed to fit the lives of their users.
John is a life-long digital entrepreneur and international thought leader in user experience and human-centered design. After a successful exit from a video-game marketing agency in 2007, he came to Chicago to found ÄKTA, in order to meet the enterprise’s growing needs for authentic Experience Design. He also founded and runs Digital Hope, a not-for-profit charitable organization that uses the power of crowdfunding via social media to support underfunded international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). John is an active angel investor in the Chicago startup community, and he was recently recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40. You can find him on the speaking circuit promoting the art and science of User Experience.
A Silicon Valley veteran with a track record for scaling emerging growth companies in chairman, CEO and lead director roles, Dean DeBiase has built leading brands in media; social, local and mobile commerce; analytics and insights; games and entertainment; retail and distribution; innovation; technology; and Internet services industries. He’s also led numerous global organizations through phases of expansion; turnaround; roll-up; mergers and acquisitions; and initial public offerings. As ÄKTA’s Executive Chairman, Dean helps to guide the company’s rapid growth by leading partnership and global expansion efforts with mid-cap and multi-national brands and business technology firms.
Kevin, the very first hire at ÄKTA, excels at keeping the team on schedule and ensuring that our clients are happy. Between juggling projects, seeking new talent and leading our scaling efforts, Kevin’s the ultimate multi-tasker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s in Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Along with ÄKTA founder John Roa, he founded Digital Hope, a not-for-profit organization that utilizes the power of social media to change the lives of people around the world. In his spare time, he can be found debating Kant with his cats, grilling something delicious with his better half or trying to sink a long putt on the disc golf course.
Tony Christos brings over 15 years of experience in the field of interactive design to his role at ÄKTA. Prior to joining our leadership team, Tony was the Creative Director and founding partner of Fueled, a mobile app design and development company, where he worked with clients such as Sony, Jim Beam, Nerf and Starbucks to build digital initiatives that have gained national recognition. He has a passion for functional design and user experience, and his relentless dedication to building lasting client relationships has helped position ÄKTA as a valued and trusted partner.
Drew Davidson graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology and a master’s in Computer Technology, and his distinguished career has allowed him to bring his vast knowledge of the user experience field to companies across the country, including Nielsen, Motorola, eBay and NASA. In 2006, he won Motorola’s People’s Choice Award for the best portrayal of a seamlessly mobile society, and in 2013, Business Insider named Drew one of the Top 75 Global Technology Designers. When he’s not working, Drew spends his time as a professionally amateur photographer and exploring the great outdoors with his camper and a dystopic sci-fi novel.
Matt Tesch is a passionate technologist and digital craftsman and has over 12 years of experience in mobile technologies and application development across a wide range of platforms and organizations, from big government to early-stage startups. Building teams that create intuitive mobile experiences backed by highly scalable architectures has been his focus at ÄKTA.
Partnering with ÄKTA for our design and implementation needs was one of the best decisions SpotOn made. They created an exceptional experience for users across all our platforms, and their work led to a more cohesive, more efficient product.
Zach Hyman | Founder – SpotOn
As someone who’s hired large consulting firms, bigwig think tanks like frog and IDEO for various projects in the past, I can speak with authority when saying that it’s better to hire the younger, smaller, more nimble digital consultancies.
Sanjay Gupta | Vice President, Product Development – Motorola Mobility
The differentiator with ÄKTA is that they don’t just tell you how you can be more successful – they actually make you successful by working with you through the entire process, from the idea stage to your product launch. We’ve seen consistent improvements in our core business metrics & site conversion rates during our engagement with ÄKTA.
Alex Griffiths | CEO – SocialCrunch
ÄKTA’s design team was a valuable part of the evolution of our CrowdSurfing Application. The team was first-rate and were a constant wellspring of great ideas and solutions.
Jimmy Chamberlin | CEO – LiveOne | Drummer – Smashing Pumpkins