#TechRunsBoston: Q&A with Will Ahmed, Founder and CEO of WHOOP

Photo credit:    Gameface Media

Photo credit: Gameface Media

Will Ahmed - Founder and CEO of WHOOP and one of four runners on
TUGG's 2016 Boston Marathon team.

The former Harvard men's squash player, who in 2015 was named one of BetaBoston's 25 Under 25, is donating his 2016 bib proceeds to TUGG portfolio nonprofit Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts. Will took a moment to share a little about who he is and why he's running Boston.

Here, Will reflects on which CEO he most admires, his personal mantra and why he chose to run for Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts.

What's the best part of being a founder?
Product and people. I love building a product that can improve athletes’ lives and I love working with and learning from brilliant co-workers, investors, and advisors, who all offer unique perspectives.

What's the worst part?
Saying “No.” In order to build a few things really well, you need to say no to a lot of other things along the way.

Which tech CEO or company do you most admire?
Kevin Plank, founder & CEO of Under Armour. He built a company in a crowded space (sports apparel) by identifying a sleepy category (undergarments) and targeting a specific niche (hockey and lacrosse teams). He then leveraged the success of that niche and built it into a massive brand across all apparel. I think I could learn a lot from him with my aspirations for WHOOP.

What is your personal mantra?
Show up; be present. So much of my day-to-day life is committing to the events and the people that matter to me and then really focusing on them. The more present I am, the more effective I can be.

What was your best running experience ever?
Reach the Beach with team Accomplice, TUGG, and other friends.

What's the longest distance you've ever run prior to training for Boston?
~10 mi

Favorite running jam
Bill Simmons podcasts....and Whitney Houston.

Marathon training pet peeve
Boston’s weather.

What motivates you to finish your long distance training runs?
I feel committed to TUGG and, in particular, Level Ground MMA, who I’m supporting with my TUGG bib; I’m also committed to fellow entrepreneurs, Ethan, Davorin, and Fred, who round out Team TUGG.

What do you say to people who say they could never run a marathon?
Try running a mile tomorrow. After that run 2 miles. After that…

Do you train best in the morning, mid-day or evening?
Most often in the morning; best in the evening.

I feel most like a badass mother runner when:
I cross the finish line.

How would you like to finish Boston?
On my feet, smiling.

Why are you running for Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts?
Level Ground MMA provides athletic training and mentorship for urban youth who face a disproportionate level of violence, poverty, and lack of access to education. I respect sports as an outlet for mentorship and I think improving the lives of our youngest generation, in any way, is everyone’s responsibility.

How can people get involved?
Invite Level Ground to offer a self defense course for your employees at your office! Check out www.levelgroundmma.org to learn more.

To show your support for Will and the rest of TUGG's Boston Marathon team,
as well as the incredible nonprofits they are supporting, join us at our
Spring Beer Garden & Marathon Meet & Greet on March 24th!

Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts couples athletic training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Boxing with mentorship, academic advancement, and employment opportunities for urban youth. The program targets youth facing a disproportionate level of violence, poverty, and lack of access to education.