ÄKTA, a Salesforce Company, 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.
Jimmy Bremner is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive with over 15 years of leadership experience in the digital and professional services arenas. His vast experience leading startups and established organizations through exponential growth makes him the ideal digital solutions leader at ÄKTA, where he brings his innovative vision and his expertise in digital strategy to our top clients. Jimmy has an impressive history coaching enterprise executives in lean ‘intrapreneurialism’ and has spent his career working with more than 10 Fortune 500 companies to help them shape and lead digital customer experience strategy and product innovation initiatives.
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.
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 with over 12 years of experience in mobile technologies and application development across a wide range of platforms and organizations. After working at one of the country’s largest technology companies, and 5 years as a Technical Specialist for the U.S. Government, Matt moved to Chicago and joined Groupon as a Software Engineer. He was a Partner and Director of Engineering at Fueled Studios, a development firm that was acquired by ÄKTA in 2014. Matt’s focus at ÄKTA is to build engineering teams that create intuitive enterprise and mobile experiences backed by highly scalable architectures.
Sara Frisk is an award-winning designer & brand strategist with 20 years of experience at top firms in Chicago and New York. She began her career in New York at Pentagram Design under Michael Bierut. More recently she spent nine years at IDEO Chicago as Director of the studio’s brand and communication design portfolio. Her award-winning work helped American Red Cross, Brooks Sports, Divvy Bikes, PNC Bank, Redbox, Sherwin-Williams, and Walgreens grow their brands and develop stronger, more meaningful customer relationships. She has served the last three years at president of AIGA Chicago, an organization supporting the education and professional growth of Chicago’s design community.
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 and bigwig think tanks like frog and IDEO for various projects in the past, I can speak with authority when I say that it’s smarter to hire a younger, smaller and more nimble digital consultancy like ÄKTA to really drive results.
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 and 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