It may seem like there’s a new construction project starting every day in Boise. The growth is undeniable, but with this growth comes an uptrend in the amount of waste at construction sites, especially in the form of single-use plastics. Alaina Holland, a 2021 graduate with a bachelor of business administration in supply chain management, learned of these problems from construction companies during the Boise State Venture College’s Hacking for Homebuilding competition in 2020. The issue of single-use plastics jumped out to her and so did the idea for Beaming, a new business that she founded with business partner Terra Miller-Cassman.
Beaming’s goal is to collect lumber wrap – single-use plastic used to protect lumber as it is transported and stored – and other waste materials from construction sites nationwide. Ninety percent of lumber yard waste is lumber wrap that ends up in landfills. Beaming hopes to not only stop this cycle but to end the production of single-use plastics altogether. The partners have plans to pivot into manufacturing renewable lumber wrap options for construction sites.
Holland and Miller-Cassman’s business plan earned a first place finish at Venture College’s Social Impact Pitch Competition, second place at Hacking for Homebuilding, a top eight finish in the College of Business and Economic’s Innovation Challenge, and the second runner-up in the social and environmental impact track at the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge. These competitions gave Holland more oomph to keep moving forward.
“If we hadn’t earned second place at Hacking for Homebuilding, we probably wouldn’t have continued trying to solve this problem,” Holland said. “If you don’t receive validation when you’re starting it can become hard to continue with the grind.”
Along with her degree in supply chain management, Holland received a minor in marketing and certificates in business analytics, nonprofit management and user experience design. She always knew she wanted to work for herself, but never imagined she would be starting a business by the time she graduated college.
“This just sort of happened at the right time, the right moment, with all the right events occurring that gave me and my business partner the push to continue with our idea,” she said.
–by Sam Pence, graduate assistant and current MBA student