We are a digital invention lab,
helping businesses create their futures.

“We set out to build a different kind of digital company that begins with the needs of the user. A lab made up of the brightest, most creative and inventive people. A singular focus of growing businesses connected to things that matter like education, innovative technology and healthcare.”

Let’s make something great together.

Don & AJ

We create, launch, and grow
businesses, products, and experiences.

For our clients


For ourselves

Our process always starts with a human need.

We apply the strength of all our practice areas to every client.


Reimagined the digital acquisition experience for a leading cosmetology school.

Go To Site


Rebranded and brought to market an umbrella of digital insight products.

Go To Site


Partnered to create a local news platform and business model, driven by sponsored content.

Go To Site

Why GoKart Labs?

“GoKart offers not just a methodology and process to their work, but their secret sauce of optimism and promise to bringing new ideas to fruition. Their passion for innovation and creating true value is contagious. They have an innate sense for user experience and it truly guides everything they do.”

Jessica Hinkle
Vice President, Emerging Strategies and Products
Laureate Online Education

You should work with us if…

You want to

  • Unlock innovation faster
  • Transform the way we live
  • Create new business models
  • Uncover scalable marketing wins

Talk to Us

About Us

  • 39 Employees
  • 38 Dog Lovers
  • 18 Bikers
  • 1 Country Star

We could not do this without amazing, truly innovative people.

These people are connected through six shared values. We look for these values in our colleagues, clients and partners.

Learn how we live these values every day.

We’re a curious bunch

Curiosity is at the heart of every GoKart employee. We merge left-brain business savvy, analytics and technical expertise with right-brain intuition, curiosity and aesthetics to incubate, execute and optimize what we do.

Don Smithmier

Managing Partner / Co‑Founder

A stirred—not shaken—cocktail of cool calculation and wild creativity, Don is the high-beam examination of all things we create, build and release to the world, keeping us on-task, on-budget and all of our work on-point. He’s also a freakishly fine musician, as well as the spark that ignited an online education revolution.

AJ Meyer

Business Development / Co‑Founder / Partner

Blazing the cyber trail for over 15 years, AJ broke the seal on many online tactics, techniques and technologies that are now industry standards. His constant analyzing and asking questions is part of his DNA and, by association, has defined GoKart culture; by turning that introspective tendency to interactive strategy and architecture, he maintains his status as a pioneer (minus the Wild-West aroma).

Adam Lutz

Web Developer

Adam’s ability to make digital things work every time is why he’s a key component of our development team. When he’s not creating simple solutions to complex problems, he can be found playing games, eating sushi, on a two-wheeled vehicle of some sort, or lost-on-purpose in the BWCA.

Adam Ramerth

Creative Lead

Hyper-focused on superior user experience and interface design. Completely zen in his approach. Adam greets every UX/IA challenge with a "Namaste," kinetically pushing boundaries and asking a heckuvalotta of questions that make us all go, “Hmmm.” Natural habitat: out and about in our great city, or simply enjoying his back yard.

Andy Manthei

Senior UX Designer

So a guy walks into my office and hands me a foot-tall vinyl figurine with antlers, pink teeth and a little smiley mouse emerging from the side of its head. An aesthetically strange and beautiful gift from Andy—a generous designer-type fellow with a penchant for all things interesting. Plus… he just NAILS it.

Annelise Eckelaert

Receptionist / Administrative Assistant

Annelise anchors our front desk, setting the stage for every day with her bright enthusiasm—no surprise, since she’s also on-course to be director of her own theater company someday. She also juggles calendars, events, and general GoKartian health and wellness—in other words, our very own human Swiss army knife.

Ben Culbert

Paid Search Manager

Ben is all about the brain. His own, of course AND those of the billions of people who do things with their phones and browsers. You could say his obsession and curiosity is what drives him and, if he had it his way, analytics would help you live a better life — not just give you more relevant marketing messages. We’ll get there Ben… we’ll get there.

Ben Steinbach

Business Analyst

Ben can be found at the intersection of analytics and Wrestlemania (there’s a Venn Diagram for that?). But it’s not all WWE and data points that make up Ben’s world; he and his lovely wife have a rockin’ pup and he loves to cook… things… It’s been said that interesting people are interested and, well… that’s Steinbach in a salty nutshell. Talk to him—you’ll be glad you did.

Brady Anderson

Director, Learning Technology

Big and Tall and Loud and Smart and Awesome. When Brady’s around, everyone’s just a little better at what they do and we love that. Mr. Anderson’s deep experience in education only adds to GKL Edutech expertise, and we’re busy building a house-made digital invention to take advantage of all that talent. Stay tuned!

Chad Gillard

Manager of Operations /
Business Analyst

Every project makes him curiouser and curiouser, meaning Chad asks lots of questions and leaves no stone unturned. The result: our whole team gains a deep-and-wide knowledge of our business partners, leading us—and our projects—to excellence every time. True loves: friends, family, food, Danish aebleskiver, and the mighty UMD Bulldogs. Not necessarily in that order.

Conor Flood

Junior Designer

Our resident ‘ginger’, Mr. Flood rounds out the design team with a mountain of curiosity and energy. He digs things like rapid creation with minimal resources (a man after our own hearts), camera gear, games (all of the games) and pushing aesthetic boundaries by trying something new and learning…always learning.

DauNae Schilling

Account Manager

We’ll get to DauNae in a minute. First: Ike the Dog. Cutest rescue ever. Welcomed with open arms by DauNae, who swears the easy transition was due to patience and persistence. The same patience and persistence that makes her projects go so smoothly and beautifully.

Dustin Lundebrek

Web Developer

Gifted with the uncanny ability of navigating between front- and back-end development, Dustin’s passion for vintage Minneapolis maps is only matched by his dedication to creating the best possible user experience. Places to find Dustin, on and off the grid: square dancing at the Eagles Club, snowshoeing or canoeing (depending on the season), or biking across our lovely city.

Elli Rader

Account Strategist

She creates, she shoots (photos), she curates, she mentors, she motivates—oh yeah, and she’s a crackerjack strategist too. Elli’s keen insight fine-tunes the direction of her projects and leads them (and our GoKart teams) to amazing new levels of awesomeness. Along for the ride: kids, Dobby the dog and her All-City bike.

Eric Johnson

Director, Technology & Operations

EJ’s team of creative technologists share his love of continuous learning. He masterfully mixes alignment with execution, pairing the right people and technologies for each unique digital challenge. Also another GoKart biker (though his have motors), EJ’s forecasting and planning skills have served him well on his coast-to-coast journeys across the USA.

Jackie Colburn

Account Strategist

A heady blend of three-parts strategist and one-part project manager, Jackie moonlights as a yogi and helps keep our collective vibe firmly planted in its zen space. Bubbling with infectious energy, she’s also relied upon to guide on-demand deep breathing exercises to level the mood (or take the edge off a quadruple cold-press buzz).

Jenna Green

Account Strategist

Here’s the thing about Jenna—she has all of the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed (even the silent ones) AND she’ll kick your ass at video games and execute a perfect Cruyff turn before you can say Fútbol. Beyond that, all you get is a beautiful mix of nerdtastic curiosity and a drive to make your life easier (we’re talking to you, future clients)!

Jim Cuene


A thought leader among modern marketers, Jim brings a whole pile of experience (from start-ups to big brands), wisdom and humility to the GoKart garage. We say we’re lucky to have him, he says he’s lucky to be here… it’s a fight neither of us will win. He’s a man of diverse passions. Jim could open a restaurant, create its brand, craft the menu, cook the food, brew the beer and deliver it by bicycle (even if you live 100 miles away).

Joseph Kuefler

Strategy Lead

Joseph is our very own needle in a haystack… not easy to find (we’re careful about who we bring to the team), but incredibly sharp. When he’s not strategically growing businesses for us and our clients, Joseph is inventing his own (check out Hum — a song-writing app) and authoring & illustrating children’s books for Harper Collins (yeah, he’s a Dad too). Spare time? Joseph doesn’t much care for it.

Joshua Tindell

Web Developer

Every environment that Josh is in—whether it is in the digital space or the real world—is improved by his friendly, on-the-go nature. A short list: volunteering as a Somali youth mentor, fine-tuning user experience, organizing a kickball league, putting his brain up against software bugs, commandeering bike scavenger hunts: he’s one tatted-up, cycle-loving, former-beach-bum of an energizer bunny.

Mark Hines

Director, Account Strategy

He makes our right-brained heads hurt—in a good way. Mark knows everyone and their brother, and also knows how to keep us disciplined and on-target in our approach to client businesses. When he’s not riding herd and making our clients’ lives better, Mark hangs out with his boys and lovely wife Katie. Yet another GoKart musician, there’s a rumor floating around there’s a video of his band somewhere...

Matthew Johnson

Director, Creative Strategy / Partner

Matthew is a walking bundle of dichotomy: a strategic designer, a metric-driven UA guy, a believer in traditional AND emerging media. He’s an economist and a songwriter, a creative soul who loves numbers, a lover of dogs, a fighter for the arts, and a darn fine cook to boot.

Moses Stremke

Director, Finance

You never know what you don’t know—except that Moses will let you know. He keeps the GoKart engine tuned up and humming at top speed, instinctively knowing when one of the moving parts in our beautiful machine needs a little grease to keep going. How does he do it? He claims it runs in his family... and he’s got Excel on his side, too.

Owen Halligan

Paid Search Manager

From the Big Sky state, Owen left the mountains behind to tackle data innovation here in the Twin Cities. As your paid search leader, Owen is a master of context. Right audience, right time, right message, right on budget. Put it this way: if your business is the mountain top, Owen is the guide to get people there.

Paul Feiner

Business Analyst /
Social Strategist

He got his chops in banking, solving industry-specific business problems and creating digital solutions for financial education. Then Paul took a little left turn, following his nose around the world, helping German business clients viz zer English (and earning the nickname “German Paul” in the process). He landed with us, and we couldn’t be happier—and our app and website clients feel the same way.

Rick Kupchella


After 30 years working as an investigative reporter and news anchor, Rick has seen it all—which is why he loves being a part of our mad scientist crew that’s constantly inventing something new. He’s earned numerous awards including more than a dozen Emmys; with a drive to steer media into new, exciting directions, he’s added “tech entrepreneur” to his already impressive job list of author, speaker, and documentary producer.

Ryan Monk

Junior Media Analyst

This guy… he knows social media, he knows sports and is definitely not pro-Wisconsin when it comes to team loyalty. Prior to joining the digital marketing practice here at GoKart, Ryan graduated from Mankato with a degree in Sports Management and ran social media for Team Ortho (Minneapolis Duathlon anyone?).

Rob Rosen

Director, Media & Analytics / Partner

Rob is our mad genius of Media Strategy, with a borderline fanatical passion for developing meaningful, relevant and branded experiences. Never taking the success of solutions for granted, Rob’s constantly defining new ways to measure and test results. Career capstone: Rob was once on a world-record setting, longest-Rice-Krispy-bar team. Years later, we’re still impressed.

Steffin Griswold

Mobile Developer

Steffin makes stuff. And yes, we need to use that broad of a statement. His laundry list of artistic and professional endeavors centers around the pursuit of knowledge, and he has the full storage locker and basement to prove it.

Tate Leyba

Director, UX & Design

Tate is a master of her craft and has the mindset of a great director, spotting aesthetic opportunities from miles away. She builds bridges internally and with her clients, but won’t hesitate to kick your ass if she needs to: in the boxing ring, on the roller derby track, in a head-to-head design smackdown, just name the time and place.

Thao Nguyen

Digital Analytics & Insights Manager

Call her “Big T” (no, actually, don’t do that). Exploring the unknown seems to be in Thao’s blood. Whether it’s obtaining her open water scuba certificate, learning how to brew hard cider or figuring out snowboarding (as a way to avoid our stupid-long winters), she loves figuring things out. Next up — stretching her entrepreneurial muscles and being part of the team to invent, design, build, launch and support a new business. Go Big T!


GoKart Labs is in the digital experience business. We invent, design, develop, launch, promote and optimize digital strategies, web sites, mobile experiences, applications and businesses for our clients…and for ourselves. We would love to make you a part of our growing team of the best and brightest — smart, curious, creative and passionate people who “like things that matter”.

At our core, GoKart Labs is an agile organization. We believe in open innovation and experimentation while applying data and analytics to constantly improve results and make us all better at what we do.

Business Development Manager

Break out your Rolodex. You’ll seek out new prospects who need our particular digital expertise. Then, after copious research, you’ll create pitches to win their business.

Creative Lead / Senior Designer

You’ll draw on your long-term experience with interaction, and your knowledge of current technologies and visual trends, to deliver designs that balance user and client needs. You’ll collaborate with developers and strategists to create websites, mobile apps, branding, and other digital products.

Creative Strategy Lead

Using even parts hard data and a knack for current trends, you’ll define business and product strategies that put users first. You’ll communicate a vision for what should launch, and you care just as much about what happens after launch.

Front End Developer

You’ll collaborate with designers to create great uesr experiences. You’ll work with back end developers to build custom web applications and to extend existing platforms. Settlers of Catan experience a plus.

Junior Designer

You have a portfolio that demonstrates your knack for UX and visual design, and you’re motivated to add to it. You’ll support and learn from our team of senior designers, while creating websites, mobile apps, branding, and other digital products. And you’ll work on quickly dropping that “Junior” moniker.


You will provide day-to-day office operations for GoKart Labs and Rumble Music. The receptionist will primarily be at the front desk answering and transferring calls, greeting visitors and working to ensure they are taken care of. You will also provide administrative support to the CEO.

Generally Awesome Folks

We’re always interested in meeting smart and curious people. If you have talent and passion in one of the following roles, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Account Strategist
  • Business Analyst
  • Front End Developer
  • PHP Developer
  • Ruby Developer
  • Strategist
  • Writer



GoKart Labs
110 North 5th Street Suite 520
Minneapolis, MN 55403

P:612.208.0761 F:612.353.4849