Using the platform of the Greek America Foundation’s recent National Innovation Conference in Philadelphia, tech entrepreneur John Roa announced during his fireside chat that although he’s already invested upwards of €10m in Greece, he’s planning a lot more.
Roa, who sold his successful company ÄKTA in 2015 to Salesforce for undisclosed millions, has already pumped money into various hospitality projects on the island of Mykonos, including luxury villas and a beach bar named SantAnna.
The Chicago native’s real estate group is developing three sets of villas: Villa Nefeli with six rooms, Villa Calypso with seven, and Ville Danaë with 13. In addition, they will continue to develop SantAnna, the luxury beach resort featuring the largest salt water pool in Europe, private beachfront areas, cabanas, bars, and more.
During his talk that was moderated by Gregory Pappas, Roa announced plans to invest up to €50 million in Greece, a country that he visited for the first time less than two years ago and quite literally— fell in love.
He didn’t reveal the plans of his new investments but did say they would be diverse in scope, as well as geography, recognizing, himself, that Greece isn’t only Mykonos.
To say Greece had an impact on Roa would be an understatement. An avid traveler with business and philanthropic activities throughout the world, he’s traveled by nap sack or briefcase to more than 50 countries.
Roa has been a partner and donor to dozens of non-profit organizations and also runs his own, Digital Hope, that focuses on building a digital bridge between international NGOs with high levels of impact but little means of fundraising, and passionate micro investors in America and Europe. Roa’s organization has successfully executed projects with orphanages, wildlife sanctuaries, schools, anti-trafficking centers, rehabilitation centers, and more, in over a dozen countries.
With a selection of so many countries, why Greece? Not even Roa can pinpoint the answer.
“It’s a country that chose me— I didn’t choose Greece,” Roa said during the conference discussion on May 5, adding that even he couldn’t explain what drew him to this sudden love affair.
Roa also shared the news in an Instagram post on May 15.
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