After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 2005, Dru Riess was waiting tables, eager to find a way to make something of himself. In 2007, when his good friend Ray Salinas moved to Texas for love, Riess followed, and he found that the stepdad of the girl Salinas moved to Texas for owned a dying printing business.
"This printing machine was literally in a barn," says Riess, located in the small town of McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas. "It was disgusting. There were mice. There were snakes."
Where he could have seen junk in the old printing press, Riess saw opportunity. The machine may not have looked like much, but Riess had done some Googling and realized it had potential. At the time, the flexible package industry was doing almost $30 billion in sales.