Student CEO from Red Hook Wins Statewide Business Competition

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ITHACA, NY (05/09/2013)(readMedia)-- Red Hook native Tim Reynolds-a graduate student in Ithaca College's doctor of physical therapy program and the CEO of KettleShell-took third place honors and $1,500 in prize money in the Products and Services category of the fourth annual 2013 New York State Business Plan Competition. Held April 26 at the University of Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and featuring 430 entries from nearly 60 colleges and universities, the statewide competition encouraged student-led start up ventures from accredited colleges to submit business plans for innovations in seven areas, including nanotechnology, biotechnology and health care, and information technology.

Reynolds's start up business, KettleShell, offers an adaptive piece of metal equipment composed of a clasp and a handle shaped roughly like a subway strap. When the clasp is secured around a dumbbell bar, the dumbbell becomes a kettlebell, a spherical weight with a curved handle that accommodates a two-handed grip.

"Kettlebell training was deemed one of 2012's best fitness trends of the year," Reynolds said. "It combines strength, cardio, and flexibility training into a single workout. But you can spend hundreds to thousands of dollars buying an entire set. Plus, a lot of people in rehab settings and home gyms don't have extra room for all that additional equipment. KettleShell saves time and floor space by transforming any standard dumbbell, regardless of weight, into a kettlebell."

Entering the competition with a working prototype, Reynolds had 10 minutes to make his business pitch and then answer questions by the panel of judges composed of investors, bankers and entrepreneurs.

"I had to deliver a solid business pitch and maintain my composure in front of about 50 people, all of whom were experts in this field," Reynolds said. "Fortunately, I'd prepared very thoroughly, so I was able to answer their questions correctly."

Knowing the logistics of developing a business plan came from lessons Reynolds learned in management courses he took in IC's School of Business. Now that the competition is over, those lessons are helping Reynolds market his new product. In addition to having applied for a provisional patent and looking for a manufacturer that can mass produce KettleShells, he's testing his prototype at fitness centers and with college athletes.

The idea for designing an adjustable kettlebell, though, came from a class in neuromuscular control, which was a part of Reynolds's physical therapy studies. Though Reynolds developed the design and wrote the patent, he credits exercise science faculty members Betsy Keller and Jeff Ives as helping him with the initial development.

"I never considered becoming an entrepreneur, but once you get passionate about an idea, it's a remarkable feeling," said Reynolds. "I wake up thinking, 'How can I make KettleShell a better company?' At the end of the day, I'm thinking the same thing. I have the responsibilities of a CEO and I'm still in college."

Reynolds is scheduled to receive his doctorate of physical therapy degree in May 2014.

To view a KettleShell workout, visit

A kettlebell workout can be seen at

To interview Tim Reynolds, contact Keith Davis, assistant director of media relations, at or (607) 274-1153.


PHOTO CAPTION for "NYSBPC Award Ceremony":

Tim Reynolds (second from left) took third-place honors in the Products and Series category of the 2013 New York State Business Plan Competition. The award was presented by competition officials.

PHOTO CREDIT: College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

PHOTO CAPTION for "KettleShell":

The KettleShell converts a standard dumbbell into a kettlebell.


From day one, Ithaca College prepares students for personal and professional success through hands-on experience with internships, research and study abroad. Its integrative curriculum builds bridges across disciplines and uniquely blends liberal arts and professional study. Located in New York's Finger Lakes region, the College is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 400 graduate students and offers over 100 degree programs in its schools of Business, Communications, Humanities and Sciences, Health Science and Human Performance, and Music.