Now that’s what you call lapping the field.
Those tuning into the ARCA General Tire 150, held on May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, would have seen “Rutgers School of Business–Camden” running rings around – and with – the competition.
Behind the wheel of the No. 78 Chevrolet – decked out in scarlet red and black, and sporting the business school’s logo – was Max Tullman, son of Stephen Tullman, a 1989 graduate of Rutgers School of Business–Camden and a successful entrepreneur in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Max, who began racing quarter midgets at age 11, is currently a stock car driver for Mason Mitchell Motorsports in the ARCA Series and Jefferson Pitts Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
The No. 78 car is quickly becoming prime advertising space. With the backing and support of his father, whom he credits as his “best friend, greatest teammate, first sponsor, and biggest supporter,” 20-year-old Max has gotten off to a fast start on the stock car circuits, nabbing two top-10 finishes last year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and a sixth-place finish in his 2018 ARCA Series debut at Daytona.
The elder Tullman made the gift-in-kind to raise the Rutgers University–Camden banner, having not forgotten how his alma mater helped to gear him for future success. As he recalls, the University offered a premier education at an affordable price, in addition to an intimate, personable atmosphere uncommon for institutions of its caliber.
“What they do really well at Rutgers is create events to make things happen, to help you network,” recalls Tullman, who delivered the keynote address at this year’s Rutgers School of Business–Camden commencement ceremonies. “It’s really important who you meet – they may need you or you may need them. They do a really good job of that.”
Jai Ganesh, dean of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, lauds the gesture as an awesome moment for the business school and all of Rutgers. “Stephen Tullman’s innovative generosity is showing the world how Rutgers–Camden outpaces the competition,” says Ganesh. “We are so fortunate to have an alum like him whose passion for Rutgers–Camden inspires excitement in others.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers–Camden, Tullman landed a job in accounting with SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline.
He was then asked to participate in a management training program with the company, and went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility in finance, sales, marketing, and research and development, while working in the United States, England, and the Philippines.
“In the 14 years I spent there, I really learned and understood the puzzle of biopharmaceuticals,” says Tullman, a 2016 inductee into the Rutgers–Camden Finest alumni hall of fame. “If you know what all the pieces mean and how they come together, it means you can lead. That time with SmithKline gave me my graduate degree, if you will, which allowed me to build my first company.”
In 2003, Tullman founded Trigenesis Therapeutics, a dermatology-focused company, and served as chief business officer until it was acquired in 2004. He subsequently served as chair and CEO of Ceptaris Therapeutics; co-founder and chair of Vicept Therapeutics; and co-founder, president, and CEO of Ception Therapeutics. All three companies were acquired between 2010 and 2013.
He now serves as the co-founder and managing partner for NeXeption, LLC. Based in Malvern, Pa., NeXeption builds innovative companies by bringing together pharmaceutical product opportunities, management expertise, and the necessary funding to rapidly advance therapies through clinical and regulatory milestones.
As if the Rutgers–Camden alumnus wasn’t busy enough, he is also the co-founder and chair of Aclaris Therapeutics, a dermatologist-led biopharmaceutical company specializing in innovative therapies – one of a number of privately held companies focusing on therapeutics.
Additionally, he is the co-founder and board director of Zoomi, Inc., an automated personalized learning technology, as well as Myota, Inc., a data security management solution that utilizes artificial intelligence.
While to some, stock car racing and business might seem like two different worlds, Tullman notes their unmistakable similarities, explaining how both industries are complex, demand astute attention to the finest details, and require the right team members in place to guarantee success.
“If you don’t have the right people and experience, their judgement and decision making won’t be the best that it can be, and that can be very costly,” says Tullman, who has also dabbled in road course driving. “The team matters, the details matter, and we are talking about very fine details. Very small changes make a difference.”
In his recent speech to Rutgers–Camden graduates, Tullman – board chair of Life Science Pennsylvania, an association with more than 750 members – spoke of the importance of being able to recognize and seize opportunities. He notes that, at every stage of his career, he has seen “almost too many” opportunities, making it more a question of which ones he should pursue.
“Opportunity sits around us every day and people just need to be looking to see them,” says Tullman, who has been named BioScience CEO of the Year and the Walter M. Aikman Entrepreneur of the Year. “You can drive down the road and find opportunity. It’s there, it’s just a question of which ones to work on.”
It’s that kind of mindset that has put son Max on the fast course to success, and is making Rutgers School of Business–Camden graduates the leaders of the pack.