Will Dean is the founder and CEO of Tough Mudder, a hardcore, 10+ mile obstacle course series with more than 50 events on three continents in 2013. The company has reached more than one million participants to date, who have raised more than $5.8 million for Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder’s charity partner in the United States.
At 28, Dean, then a second-year MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, came up with the idea for Tough Mudder while sitting in his dorm room and submitted a proposal to Harvard Business School’s Business Plan Contest. In 2010, less than a year later, Tough Mudder’s first event was held at a ski resort in Pennsylvania. In fewer than four years, Tough Mudder has grown into the premier adventure challenge series in the world.
As CEO, Dean oversees the daily operations of more than 150 employees, working from the headquarters in Brooklyn, New York and expansion offices in London and Melbourne. In 2012, Dean was named to Crain’s annual 40 Under 40 list, with his company earning more than $75.5 M in revenue and growing more than 3250 percent since its creation in late 2009. In 2013, he was awarded the WWP Talkhouse Award for his service efforts and was named a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Dean is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Bristol (BSc). Prior to founding Tough Mudder, he worked as a counterterrorism officer at The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and founded two other companies. A native of Great Britain, Will grew up in the Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England, where his family still lives. He is a keen sportsman and has competed in marathons and triathlons on three different continents.
He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife Katie.
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