Leland Wetzel- Xylo Bats
Leland Wetzel grew up playing baseball. His dream was to play college ball and possibly go pro. After suffering shoulder injuries and multiple surgeries during his junior high and high school years, a future in baseball after high school was out of the question.
Wetzel grew up with a love for wood working, both his father and grandfather were hobby wood carvers. In July 2012, Leland Wetzel wanted to make a baseball bat for his nephew’s first birthday. He had no idea how to make one, but luckily, his grandfather taught him a few things. He made his first bat and he wanted to make more.
Leland Wetzel came to the SBDC at MSU in late 2013. At this point in time word had spread about Wetzel’s craft and he was busy making bats in addition to working his full-time job. The SBDC assisted Wetzel with his DBA, cash flow projections, discussed the importance of a business plan, pricing considerations, and marketing ideas. The SBDC worked with Wetzel over the next five months. Several years passed before Wetzel reached back out to Lynda Cannedy, the center’s Assistant Director and consultant whom he had first worked with. He had been operating Xylo Bats but hadn’t put much into it until recently. He knew he needed help with his growing business. Lynda is currently working with Wetzel on a business expansion and new business plan.
Xylo Bats has been busy the past year. Their hard work has paid off as they have secured a MLB certification for making bats for MLB teams. They were also one of six finalists awarded $25,000 in the Chipstarter contest, a competition put on by Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper on HGTV.
Wetzel admits that he didn’t know what an entrepreneur was until college, but knows he is definitely wired in the way of one. He thrives on business and being an entrepreneur and knows he has a lot to learn in order to be a successful one. Xylo Bats goal is to create the best wood baseball bat in the world and become a household name for baseball players and fans. They are one of only 35 wood baseball bat companies with an MLB certification. Keep a lookout for Xylo Bats to make its big break in the MLB.