Startup Spotlight: Business AF Podcast

Posted: January 11, 2020

By Tina Chang

Business AF Podcast

Launched in July 2019, the Business AF podcast was conceived by Chris Widlowski and Marisa Cali, who met through Startup San Diego. On the weekly show, Chris and Marisa chat with business professionals from across the globe, allowing them to share their individual stories and journeys.

“We believe you’re not just the face of your business or company that you work for or own, hence the name Business AF,” says Chris. “We want to get to know people on both a business and personal level. There’s no editing, it’s real and you get to showcase your expertise to the world.”

As small business owners, Chris and Marisa started the podcast in order to give other business owners and professionals a channel to learn from others, share their own experiences, and help businesses increase their visibility.

Business AF guests

Chris and Marisa look for business professionals who want to share their stories with the rest of the business world, whether they be new to the startup world, veterans in their industry, or even just regular people in the workforce.

“We cover all types of people and professionals,” says Chris. “From event planners to financial coaches, to MMA fighters who are also business owners, to rappers who have turned their hobby into a business.”

“We even feature employees of businesses to get their perspective on how things are being run, and some of the challenges they face on their end.”

Business AF guests have included:

  • Charles Sutton, Co-Founder and Chief Analytics Officer of Impacsis
  • Armando Esquer, Owner of AE Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Zach Bostick, Founder of Electronic Business Cards
  • Sepideh Elvazi, Elevated Meeting Solutions

“We feel extremely blessed with how the podcast has been growing organically.”


Business AF already has guests lined up through mid-February, but it hasn’t always been this way, Chris admits.

“In the beginning, our biggest challenge was finding guests,” he says, “but now we’ve got a good flow of guests and we’re steadily growing. We’ve also refined our process and the backend setup so everything runs pretty smoothly now.”

“We feel extremely blessed with how the podcast has been organically growing,” says Chris.

Future goals for the podcast

Marisa and Chris’ main goal for the podcast in 2020 is to secure their very first sponsor. “We really just want to keep the momentum going right now,” says Chris. “We want to continue learning from others and helping others grow while we grow our own businesses and the podcast at the same time.”

A little bit about Chris and Marisa

After working in the corporate world as a UI/UX designer, Chris started his own company, Pixelift Digital, which focuses on digital marketing campaigns. He specializes in email campaigns and event planning, UI/UX design, website design, mobile apps, and developing IoT.

Marisa has over 12 years of experience in digital marketing and made the leap to entrepreneurship in 2015. She currently focuses on LinkedIn training, content creation, and strategy for business professionals and companies who want to make their impact in the digital space.

“Having a cohost is so important. It helps with accountability and collaboration and keeps it fun.”

“I actually didn’t have any background in podcasting before starting Business AF,” says Chris. Marisa, on the other hand, has hosted her own podcast show before. “My previous experience with podcasting made me realize that having a cohost is so important,” she says. “It helps with accountability and collaboration.”

“Our different styles and personalities also really help keep the podcast professional and make it really fun to listen to.”

Both Chris and Marisa agree that doing this podcast alone wouldn’t be as great or fun as it is today. “Meeting the new guests and having them share their story is the icing on the cake,” says Chris. “The fact that we’re able to go live on YouTube and LinkedIn at the same time makes it unique. We thrive in this environment, we love going live.”

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