It’s said that the sum of all one's experiences lead you to who you are today, and in Ryan Mundy’s case it couldn’t be more true. He’s drawn upon his experience as a Super Bowl-winning NFL player and as an investor and entrepreneur in tech startups to tackle a woefully broken system: mental and physical wellness in communities of color. Ryan, fueled by his own personal mental health struggles experienced during his transition from player to entrepreneur, is making an impact on black wellness through Alkeme Health, a digital health startup that he founded.
Here are my three big takeaways from the conversation:
Life transitions require you to reassess your own identity and determine who you are and what inspires you.
The healthcare system is even more broken for people of color.
Alkeme Health hopes to crash the access barriers by connecting people of color with content, professionals, and more that is aimed towards them.
I know you’ll enjoy listening to Ryan’s journey and to the enormous impact and potential that Alkeme will have on our world.
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Ryan: And I said, well, if I had a tough time, imagine what's going on, for folks on the south and west side of Chicago or on the north side of Pittsburgh or on the east side of Detroit, this is like generational type stuff that just keeps sending us back.
How do we unlock our communities, potential rooted in mental health?
Aaron: I'm Aaron Levy. And I have this vision of a workplace where your manager doesn't suck; where instead your manager is your coach helping you to reach your full potential. I founded Raise The Bar, wrote Open, Honest, and Direct, and started this podcast to help companies transform their workplace to a place where both the company and employee succeeds.
In this podcast, I get to interview leaders who built high-performing teams and learn from them on what it takes to unlock a team with potential.
Today, I'm lucky to have Ryan Mundy, the founder and CEO of Alkeme Health, a digital health startup rooted in Black wellness. Ryan's had many past lives though, before starting Alkkeme, Ryan co-founded SWZLE, which was acquired back in October of 2020 and was the managing director of Techletes.
Before his reign in the tech space Ryan's first career was as a professional athlete where he played eight years in the National Football League. And as a Super Bowl winning champion of Super Bowl 43. In this episode, Ryan talks about his career as an athlete, his exploration of finding his identity when sports ends and his trials and tribulations with mental health and how that's helped to form his new business and the impact that he's having on the world.
I know you'll enjoy this one. Enjoy the listen.
Aaron: So Ryan, thank you for coming on. Just a pleasure to have you on, and I've been following you from afar for years and the work you've been doing in the Chicago tech space, but you've had a quite a journey prior to that. I'd love to hear a little bit more about your story and how you got here today.
Like not just a step one, step two, but, take me back to what got you here.
Ryan: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me on; definitely a pleasure to join you. And in this episode I'm a well-traveled man. Let's put it like that. And you know my, my core belief around life is everything happens the way it should and that's what got me to this point today. And I wouldn't trade anything in the world to be where I am sitting currently right now, but I'm originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I started playing football at the age of seven years old. So that's back in 1992 came from very humble beginnings.
Neither one of my parents went to college. I have two younger sisters, you know, inner city neighborhood. Lower middle-class community if you will. And you know, just kind of getting by Like a pretty good summary of my upbringing, but more specifically, I started playing football in 1992 as mentioned at the age of seven.
And during that season, we were absolutely terrible. Didn't win one game. I played often guard and wore number 52 and it was in direct conflict with my skillset because I was the biggest kid. I was the fastest kid. I was the strongest kid on the team yet. And still I'm blocking for a bunch of kids who aren't scoring touchdowns.
And we went winless that season. And so nonetheless, I was pretty frustrated and told my dad, like, you know, I'm not playing football next season. I don't want to. This is a terrible experience. We suck on that score in touchdowns. I don't want to play. And so going into the 1993 season my dad, he didn't make me get back out there.