SDSU student entrepreneur Ryan Wallace aims to help people overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation through his work with the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.
“Given the credibility and reputation of this institution, I saw an opportunity to be part of a respected organization and better improve my business skills.”
The student entrepreneur at San Diego State University knew that many people, especially during these troubled times, have felt similar feelings of isolation. This inspired Wallace and his business partner, Lovans Florialto build a business that helps individuals connect with the community through artist management / corporate services, events, festivals, and fashion. The Lonely Floater company was founded by Wallace and Florial in the fall of 2016. The name was inspired by the harsh reality where people individually face challenges that make them feel alone even when surrounded by people, said Wallace, an executive information systems (MIS) student at SDSU. “It is evident that there are significant numbers of people struggling for their lives and survival, at least when their sanity and stability are intact,” Wallace said. “In our opinion, these people feel alone, and hence the term ‘lonely swimmers’. My co-founder and I were in such a position once, but that didn’t stop us from realizing our dreams and constantly working to improve ourselves. “
Brooklyn-born Wallace came to San Diego via the US Navy, where he served for over nine years before being honorably discharged in 2021. He decided to take the SDSU to build up his “knowledge and skills in business”.
“Given the credibility and reputation of this institution, I saw an opportunity to be part of a respected organization and better improve my business skills,” he said. “Of particular concern was the need to be a beneficiary of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.” The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center was designed to serve students, entrepreneurs and leaders through a mix of entrepreneurial curriculum, workshops, internships, resources and events.
Wallace said he found out about the center “the hard way” while trying to register the Lonely Floater brand through an unscrupulous trust company. He noted that the trustee kept his money but did little to resolve the branding problem.
“Fortunately, I met an SDSU student who identified himself as a Lavin entrepreneur, and he was able to solve the problem that has plagued us for two years in two months,” said Wallace. “I realized that if a ‘college kid’ could do more for me than a paid trustee, then I had to be a Lavin entrepreneur. I signed my letter of admission to the Lavin Entrepreneur Program before enrolling at SDSU, and to this day I am proud of it. “
When Wallace graduated from SDSU in May, he said he plans to “continue to grow and develop Lonely Floater to become a household name in fashion and event and artist management.
To that end, Wallace plans to partner with more professionals, seek more investors, grow and improve the company’s online presence, and take programs and courses that will enhance his skills and complement my knowledge. He also said the company plans to host a number of art and music festivals in the near future.
For other SDSU students studying the world of entrepreneurship, Wallace offers the following insight: “Entrepreneurship is not as easy or shiny as it seems or as people want you to believe because it’s a daunting process. But despite the constant and potentially changing challenges, the best thing to do is to believe that there will always be a way out – all you need to do is look carefully and have your hands on deck. But it’s still worth the trials and struggle for the rewards come true. You learn through the process, and over time, more opportunities are likely to open up. “