EPIC Spotlight: Ryan Frazier

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Ryan Frazier, a Sam M. Walton College of Business senior, has utilized his passion and drive to excel in the business world to catapult him to success in the Donald W. Reynolds Business Plan competition.

According to dwrgovernorscup.org: The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup is a statewide undergraduate & graduate business plan competition designed to encourage students in Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma to act upon their ideas and talents in order to produce tomorrow’s businesses. This competition is aimed at simulating the real-world process of entrepreneurs creating a business plan to soliciting start-up funds from potential investors. Students involved in this competition gain access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors, team building opportunities, business planning skills, and media exposure. Frazier entered the competition with a group of classmates during his junior year, Spring 2009. Frazier decided to enter the competition outside of the classroom and spent hundreds of hours planning, developing, designing and competing over the course of four months.

“Our company was SooiieeSake’, LLC.,” Frazier said. “It was a sake’ brewery located in Hot Springs, AR. It was our vision to produce a premium, pure and natural sake’ in Arkansas.”

Frazier said the sake’ would be made from world-renowned Arkansas grown rice and premium Hot Springs spring water.

After months of work, Frazier said his most memorable moment from the competition was when his team was announced as a finalist. “We were really able to visualize our business from concept into the finished product,” Frazier said. “I love entrepreneurship and the Governor’s Cup is a great way to learn by doing.”

Jeff Amerine, adjunct entrepreneurship professor, said of Frazier’s group: “I was really impressed with this group, they are true quick studies. The amount of work these guys put into this competition in such a short time is amazing. They did the competition because they wanted to compete, not for credit in a class. Their business plan was a good as a seasoned venture company and they did as good as I have seen in 20 years in the business.”

Frazier said the Walton College has provided a “tremendous learning environment” as well as vast opportunities outside of the classroom. “Professors become advisers and fellow students become friends, team members and business partners,” Frazier said. “Some of my most rewarding experiences in the Walton College were from simply getting involved. As President of the Human Resource Management Association and Treasurer of the American Marketing Association, I was constantly meeting new people, building relationships with my classmates and professors, and getting involved with a wide variety of projects to keep busy.”

He is currently preparing to apply to different MBA programs in addition to a teaching position in Japan, where Frazier’s International Business Marketing major and minor in Japanese and Economics will serve him well.

“I’m keeping my options open and still have a lot of decisions to make, but I’m confident that regardless of what I decide my experiences in the Walton College have provided me with the skills necessary to succeed.”

Frazier said he spends a lot of time analyzing the market with Felix Investment Group, a group he started with eight classmates in 2008. He also enjoys rock climbing, soccer and golfing with friends.