Technology Entrepreneur and WGN Radio Talent Gray Rothkopf Launches OnDeckTech

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Gray Rothkopf, former founder of Chicago-based ISP Forward.net, Chicago Apple Store Service Manager and current WGN Radio Cybersquad expert, announced the launch of OnDeckTech, a technology firm providing Mac and Windows training, repair, support and trouble-shooting to homes and businesses in the Chicagoland area.

A proven entrepreneur, Rothkopf started providing Mac consulting in 1992 under the name Applecore, built and sold a $3M/year internet service provider with 25 employees called Forward.net, Inc. He then joined Apple Computer's North Michigan Avenue Apple Store in early 2003.

"Working for the Apple Store North Michigan Avenue was the best work experience of my life. It made me realize the true value of teamwork, and the positive energy a corporation could lend to its customers lives."

While Rothkopf was happy to be a part of the Apple team, he started OnDecktech to fill a need the company wasn’t serving.

"It's fun to be part of something successful, and while I loved my team and leadership, it frustrated me that I couldn't leave the Store to help people. I wanted to start a company that could inspire the same buying confidence in customers at home and office as Apple provides at its Stores. Existing alternatives lacked the availability, affordability and reliability people need, and I started OnDeckTech to address these needs, and serve customers better."

Rothkopf took some of the community-building lessons learned through his work with Apple and with previous entrepreneurial ventures to heart when establishing OnDecktech.

“The Apple Store offers free use of its computers to access the internet in order to entice people to use their products. At OnDeckTech, we have created a free Mac help forum (http://forum.OnDeckTech.com) where we answer questions from people all around the world, and a free community website at http://www.wickerpark.com.

Rothkopf can also be heard providing weekly computing advice to about 250,000 listeners across 38 states as part of the tech-call in show Website Wednesday Nights, with Steve & Johnnie on WGN AM 720.

”Whether with Forward.net, Apple or WGN, I’ve always had a sense that the way to succeed in business is to be there for your customers - to gain their trust with frank, unbiased advice and ask the tough questions that may ultimately save them time and money. It was the same with Apple as it is with OnDeckTech. Success comes with service.”

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Richard Sharp
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