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Alum business owner to compete in international start-up competition

By Christina Lundin
On February 20, 2012

A company founded by Miami University alumnus Shane Gring is competing for a spot in an intensive "start-up incubator" workshop held in Colorado.

Gring's company, BOULD, is dedicated to the goal of eliminating substandard housing through green building education. BOULD has made its mark in the environmentally friendly housing industry by providing low-income families with sustainable, energy efficient homes.

So far, the company has built homes in Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina and Alabama, and has plans to add Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago and Philadelphia to that list, according to Gring.

Through all this success, Gring has stayed humble and recalls his time at Miami with fond memories.

"I am a huge Miami guy — it was the best experience of my life," he said. "I will always be in debt to Miami."

Currently, the company finds itself on the verge of a big break and in position to gain national exposure.

According to the founder, BOULD'S most recent business venture comes in the form of a worldwide competition sponsored by Unreasonable Institute, a highly intensive start-up incubator for high impact entrepreneurial companies.

BOULD was selected from a pool of 300 companies from around the globe to compete for a spot in the institute. It is the first Colorado-based company to make it this far in the competition. The prize is an intensive six-week workshop held at a rented fraternity house at the University of Colorado.

According to Gring, the workshop is designed to accelerate small startups into thriving international businesses, and to do social or environmental good with their business.

If admitted, Gring will have access to invaluable resources to help foster the growth of the company, including intensive skill training, access to seed capital and world class mentorship.

In addition, the six-week workshop will be filmed and formatted into a series of episodes documenting the trials and tribulations each entrepreneur, similar to an adaptation of The Real World and The Apprentice, but with significantly less drama.

In order to gain admission into the Institute, participants were assigned the task of raising $10,000.

In order to reach this goal, Gring utilized any and all of his resources, including his connection to Miami. He notified friend and current senior at Miami, Max Rodriguez, who then got in touch with Brett Smith, the entrepreneurship department chair.

Smith decided to incorporate the competition into one of his classes by dividing the class into teams and having each team raise awareness and funds for BOULD.

"I saw it as an opportunity to help a Miami alum and provide real world experience for students," Smith said.

Determined to see BOULD succeed, the students dove headfirst into the project, turning to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to get the word out.

Junior Paul Baechtold is an aspiring entrepreneur and was especially enthused by this project.

"I understand the value of networking and so I see huge personal benefit coming out of working very actively on as many projects like this as I can. I think I understand exactly how much this opportunity means to Shane," Baechtold said.

To learn more about BOULD or to make a donation, check out their website at www.beBOULD.com


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