Unplugged – An event hosted by Twin Cities’ Podcasters

Twin Cities Startup Week

Lab651 + Justin Grammens participated in a few 2020 Startup Week events, one of them being Twin Cities Podcast Hosts UNPLUGGED. This event’s focus was to share with other entrepreneurs and business leaders how to use podcasting as a sales and marketing tool. This was a part 1 (sales) & 2 (marketing) event, with a total of 10 podcasters.

Moderator: Tim Bornholdt, Parter of The Jed Mahonis Group

Part 1 speakers:

  • Justin Grammens, Founder & CEO of Lab651
  • Mike Jackson, Founder & CEO of Black Tech Talent
  • Anna Bliss
  • Kristi Piehl, Founder & CEO of Media Minefield
  • Allison Kaplan, Editor in Chief of Twin Cities Business

Part 2 speakers:

  • Jessica Meyer, Co-Host of Women in Tech Twin Cities
  • Kurt Schmidt
  • Ian Levitt, CEO of Studio America
  • Jenna Redfield, Founder of Twin Cities Collective
  • Kevin McArdle, Founder & CEO of SureSwift Capital

The focus of the discussion was how to use podcasting as a tool to grow a business, judging the success of episodes, using podcasting for lead generation, preparing for interviews, and more!

Conversations on AppliedAI

Justin’s podcast, Conversations on AppliedAI, is about a year old now. He was asked about his reason for starting the podcast and any potential return the business is seeing because of the podcast.

Justin’s take:

  • It wasn’t started for the business actually — more driven out of a deep passion that I have to connect with, learn from experts much more seasoned than I am in Artificial Intelligence, and see how it can be applied to my business. It might be obvious, but if the business is the driver, it won’t last. There are many hours of work that go into each episode and if you aren’t passionate about it’s far too easy to give up. Find a subject that drives you, start there, and then circle back on how it can be applied to the business.

Lastly, how did you get started planning the content, guests, and release schedule?

  • Start with the circle of people you know. Comb your LinkedIn profiles and connections and ask them to be on the program. I’ve been surprised just how many people want to help get another person’s ideas off the ground. If you don’t know anyone, reach out to the people that are influencers in that community and ask for help. Be honest with yourself and them and if this is something you want to take on, ask for help. When it comes to planning and getting things going… GET STARTED! I released a series of blog posts on the Lab651 blog on the tools, services, etc that I did to get started (Starting a podcast). It was actually during the pandemic that I had time on my hands to finally get started. We applied a “30 days of Learning” approach to our entire organization where all of the employees at Lab651 were given 30 days to learn something new. I chose to double down on creating a podcast. Also when it comes to planning guesses and schedules – create a template – block off certain times during the week – use sites like Fiverr and online podcasting software like Squadcast and distribution platforms like BuzzSpout to and just start publishing. Start with your inner ring and then build out from there. I’ve talked with people that I never thought I would have been able to speak with — real leaders in AI, jut by starting small and building out.


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