If you want to start your own business or product, do it; Don't talk about it, just do it.

12/Taking His Shot

Joe McMullan ’13 helps pioneer a powerful training tool

In 2017, Joe McMullan ’13 and his business partner, Rick Seidman, invented ShotSled — a patented and trademarked $1,499 training tool that helps wrestlers improve their positioning, form and technique.

McMullan came to Bucknell on a wrestling scholarship in 2009. While at Bucknell, he learned that starting a business is more about perseverance than connections.

“A lot of people will question your business model and offer their advice,” he says. “If you believe in yourself, your partner and your business model, success will eventually occur.”

The morning after the idea was born, McMullan drove to the nearest dollar store and loaded up on plastic straws, hot glue, duct tape and pool noodles. The partners had a nonfunctional prototype a week later.

Then the real work began — a year and a half spent manufacturing full-size metal ShotSleds and testing them in Bucknell’s Graham Wrestling Center. McMullan and Seidman have supported Bucknell wrestling for years — McMullan as a student-athlete and Seidman as the uncle of a Bison wrestler.

ShotSled went through seven prototypes before settling on a final design, which is now used in more than 250 colleges, high schools, mixed martial arts gyms and youth wrestling clubs across 40 states.

Not bad for an innovator whose day job is managing investments for a commercial real-estate firm in Philadelphia.

“ShotSled was started by two guys in a part-time effort while working full-time jobs,” he says. “If you want to start your own business or product, do it. Don’t talk about it; just do it.” — Bryan Wendell

Joe McMullan ’13 illustration