Ali is the co-founder and lead engineer at Wattson Blue. Wattson Blue is a mobile app for athletes that uses elite level sport science to help them train and recover the right way in order to improve their wellbeing and maximise their long term performance. Wattson Blue is being used by athletes at Oxford University boat clubs as they train to take on Cambridge in the Boat Race. Before starting Wattson Blue, Ali was a Commodities strategist at Goldman Sachs International. Ali is a keen athlete and can be found regularly cycling, rowing or running.

When I was training seriously as a rower, I suffered from burnout, overtraining and injuries. My co-founder and I felt suitable tools were lacking to help athletes monitor their well-being alongside their training. We are developing Wattson Blue to help athletes like me avoid going through what I went through.

Someone who takes an initiative to address a real world problem.

I know it is a good idea because it’s solving a problem I personally had. I know Wattson Blue has at least one potential customer. I guess we are still figuring things out, but we have had a few validations along the way: We secured an initial grant from University of Oxford IT Innovations, we have had excellent results in our athletes and really positive feedback from some of our early users. We have also managed raise further funding and have been accepted to an accelerator programme. Though it is still very early days as they say.

You need to be a able to listen to your users and show flexibility. You should care about the problem you are trying to solve. You should stay focused on solving a problem that someone has, rather than making a product and finding users later. But you should remember that you can’t please everyone.

It’s fun making something people want.

I admire people who are hard-working but open and kind. Being successful can go hand in hand with those traits, but some people seem to forget that. Same goes for companies.

I would actually like to sit down with leaders of companies who may be abusing their user data to get their point of view and how they see the future of data and user privacy.

Talk to users. Charge from day one.

Initial grant from University of Oxford IT Innovations.Angel investment.

IT Innovations Challenge mandate changes from year to year. In our year the focus was on student well-being which fits in with Wattson Blue perfectly.

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Don’t pitch your ideas, people will tell you it’s great even if they don’t really think so. Listen to your potential clients and try and fix a problem they have. Even better, fix a problem you have.

 

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