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Tim Reynolds came to Ithaca College to earn a degree in physical therapy, expecting to gain knowledge and experience in his chosen field. What he didn’t foresee was his chance to become a businessman and innovator. After taking a course in neuromuscular control, Tim examined workout equipment and figured out a way to transform a standard dumbbell into a kettlebell.

"Kettlebells are spherical weights with a curved handle to accommodate a two-handed grip, Tim said. They combine strength, cardio, and flexibility training into a single workout. But an entire set costs hundreds of dollars and takes up a lot of floor space."

With the help of two faculty members, Tim and a friend came up with a way to transform any dumbbell into a kettlebell. They designed a clasp with a handle shaped like a subway strap that secures to the dumbbell handle. Tim dubbed the device the KettleShell and entered it into IC’s Business Idea Competition, where it won the $5,000 first prize.

After taking classes at the IC School of Business to help him learn how to develop a business plan, Tim pitched to a panel of professionals at IC's Business Plan Competition and took home the $20,000 grand prize. The KettleShell is now available for purchase.

It’s been a surprising career turn for Tim, and a rewarding one.

"I never considered becoming an entrepreneur, but once you get passionate about an idea, it’s a remarkable feeling."