Twende: Rethinking Entrepreneurship S1:E3: Aaron P. Woods – Removing the Roadblocks in Producing a Podcast with Aaron P. Woods
June 2, 2022 / Share:
Twende: Rethinking Entrepreneurship is production of the EC, and it’s all about engaging in open and honest conversations with incredible Black and LatinX business experts, investors, and founders. Twende is Kiswahili for “let’s go!” It’s our rally cry here at the EC and represents the vibrant passion to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color. Join us in Episode 3 where we learn from Aaron P. Woods, founder and CEO of Podpal.
Coming from a family of 9, Aaron P. Woods was one of seven children where board games and family time was constant. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, he enjoyed his childhood and his hometown culture of loyalty. From a young age, Woods always had an entrepreneurial spirit, selling items door to door. With good grades and strong athletic ability, Woods had two paths he could take: business or sports. With “my faith being a real core of who I am, I really felt like God was leading me in the direction of, ‘Hey, football season is over for you. Now it’s time to step into something new.’ And so I transferred to the University of Florida, where I would eventually meet my wife. I finished my engineering degree there, which was civil engineering.”
Discovering a Unique Entrepreneurial Path
Aaron got his dream job at Seattle MKA after graduating with a Masters in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. His first project included design support for Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.
Woods’ son, Elijah, was diagnosed with Autism at 3 and this shifted Woods’ thinking. Looking for better benefits to support the healthcare his family needed, he transferred to Boeing as an Aerospace Engineer for a few years. After reflecting on his career, he knew he wanted to support his family, but more importantly, he knew Boeing wasn’t the long-term answer. His interest started to peak for software development and engineering.
He started knocking on Tech’s door but people were not interested due to his lack of experience. Knowing he wanted to be closer to family in the South, Woods eventually discovered and accepted a job at Home Depot. Around this same time, Black tech was on the rise in Atlanta, and Woods was meeting the right people. His wife started a podcast and he saw, first-hand, the struggles and challenges of managing the administrative responsibilities of Podcast Production. This gave Woods the idea for Podpal.
Success Today and Tomorrow
Podpal is an all-in-one software management system where podcasters can do everything they need in one place – like marketing, project management, and more! “Our mantra is to be a podcaster’s best friend.”
Today, Podpal has 500 active users with eyes on growth. Woods is taking note of trends where tech and services are more low touch. For example, it used to be when people wanted to listen to music, they would have to pull a record out and move the needle, but now you can just ask Alexa to play a song. He wants to help podcasting be that low-touch medium for people to engage with the content they want. The good news is that he’s on his way to helping all podcasters focus their time and energy on what they love about podcasting without getting bogged down in administrative details.