Crimson Catch Up: Will Ahmed ’12

Former Harvard squash captain Will Ahmed '12 had always been curious about his body, and he became inspired by a simple idea: Humans, especially athletes, could optimize their daily performance. Optimizing performance was not a random sequence of events and decisions, but rather a systematic approach to understanding your body. 

After founding WHOOP from his room in Quincy House, Will is now helping professional, amateur, and recreational athletes reach their peak performance. Will recently reflected on his experiences at Harvard, and how those experiences prepared him to become an entrepreneur and CEO.

 

Name & Class Year: Will Ahmed '12
Current Title & Employer: Founder & CEO, WHOOP
House: Quincy
Concentration: Government
Sport: Squash


When I think about my time at Harvard, the first thing that comes to mind is…

The people. The people you meet at Harvard are truly exceptional. I learned more from my friends and classmates at Harvard than any other environment in my life. It’s also amazing to see what interesting things my teammates and friends are doing with their lives now.
 

Away from athletics, I was a member of…

The Hasty Pudding Club and AD Club, and interned at Lindsay Goldberg and Allen & Company.

What I’m most proud of during my time at Harvard is…

Being named captain of the squash team and the research I did on human physiology.

Harvard helped me to…

Start a company out of a dorm room. I was a Government concentrator who became fascinated with how to better understand the human body. Harvard let me drift into the sciences and ultimately do the research that led to founding WHOOP, a company dedicated to monitoring and improving human performance. 

Being a student-athlete taught me…

You can’t fear failure. As athletes, we are taught to face failure everyday as a means to improve. Literally you are often pushed to the point of failure as the mechanism for success. This simple concept helped give me the courage to become an entrepreneur.

My career path has been…

Challenging, exhilarating, exhausting, fun.

Throughout my career I have learned to…

Keep my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground.

My most important career move/decision was to…

Start a company as a Harvard undergrad. I founded WHOOP with two co-founders from Harvard (John Capodilupo ’14 and Aurelian Nicholae ’12) with the mission of improving human performance. We built a system across hardware, software, and analytics to measure recovery, exercise, and sleep. Today we work with hundreds of the best professional sports properties and teams in the world, U.S. military and special forces, and a large growing consumer population looking to better understand their bodies. Learn more about WHOOP

I enjoy my work because…

I work with brilliant people on an ambitious mission.

What I’m most proud of since Commencement is…

I just got married to my life partner, Leily Ahmed.

When my teammates and I get together, we…

Still get out on the squash court together from time to time. I’ve had battles recently with Brandon McLaughlin '14, Gary Power '14, Reed Endresen '11, Niko Hrdy '09, and Asfy Nadeedm '14. We also all cherish the fact that Ali Farag '14, our former teammate, is #2 in the world as a professional squash player!

The most important piece of advice I can give current student-athletes is to…
Smile. You’re in a great place in life.
 

-- Your Team for Life --