What The Tech Episode 14: “Building Shared History” with Mike Roberts from Roll

on October 10, 2023

At its core, being a gamer involves being part of a community. No matter what form factor your game-of-choice takes—whether you enter virtual reality to battle enemies or saddle up around the table for a weekly game night with friends—“games are as much about the people we play with as the games themselves,” Mike Roberts, Founder and CEO of Roll explains.

Ensuring that gamers are able to build and cultivate the human connections that make gaming so fun in the first place is what drove Mike and his team to create Roll. And their focus really is about leveling the playing field to make it easier for both players and game designers to bring their communities together around activities they love. 

Roll is a digital tabletop that makes jumping into a game as simple as sending a text message, putting the magic of game night in your pocket. Players from virtually anywhere can join their friends on their phone to start playing games without getting bogged down by reading the rulebook; Roll takes care of the rules, letting you pay attention to the play at hand.

Users can share their identity across other networks to connect with new people, allowing them to be their authentic selves, all while Roll keeps them safe by only sharing what users want to share, at the right time.

It’s a game-changer for gaming, and a platform that combines serious innovation while also being a place for creators, offering a low-code environment for building games as well as playing. And by simplifying the process for sharing rules (and actually getting started playing), they solved one of the biggest headaches many long-time and novice gamers felt acutely throughout the pandemic.

Mike is a champion not just in building Roll but in navigating the mixed media and startup space throughout Toronto. We first caught up with him and the Roll team at FounderFuel Demo Day over the summer, where he pitched Roll to a packed audience ahead of Montreal Startupfest. We chat through his experience working with an accelerator, his goals for Roll and the future of startups.

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