MIT’s Storyteller In Residence, Dom Smith chats to David Morczinek of AirWorks about his startup. In this chat, David discusses his background working for established brands including Airbus, while getting some key tips in entrepreneurship for current and future MIT students.
Can you tell me about what you do here?
My name is David, I am originally from Germany, and studied Aerospace engineering there as well. I’ve been in aviation for the last fifteen years. Before coming to Boston, I worked in Europe, first in France and then in Madrid for AirBus, which is the largest European aircraft manufacturer. I came here in August 2016 to do my MBA. This is my second year, and I have been enrolled in the entrepreneurship track at MIT, which is hosted and organized by MIT.
What would you say that some of your day-to-day challenges are?
Launching a business is never easy. I came here to learn how to build venture-funded, and backed companies. The Martin Trust Center is very unique, because the entrepreneurs have a risk-free environment to test out whatever they are working on.
What are your goals for the future?
We launched AirWorx in the summer of last year out of Sandbox. We are trying to work out ways to run and grow the company after we’ve done our MBAs. We had the Fuse program in January, and some sales came out of that which is great. We are trying to boost sales right now, work on our customer relationships and grow revenue.
What would be your key tips for entrepreneurs?
I am an engineer by trade, and so I’ve always been trained to build excellent technology, and try to find customers. When I came here, Bill [Aulet] told me that is the wrong way round, and you have to look for problems that you want to solve first, and then try to find solutions for those.
What’s the value of a good co-founder for you?
You need someone you can trust and share the pain with. We are a team of three people right now, we have someone with a background in private equity and finance, more towards someone building industrial businesses, and myself the Aerospace guy, with experience in operations and legal agreements. We also have an operations guy with experience in the construction industry; that marriage brings us all together to create a business that is interesting to our customers. You have to find people with complimenting skills.
Have you always had that entrepreneurial spark?
I have been very business orientated from a young age. I had a very small computer service company when I was in High School. I also launched a very small events service business! Something in me has always strived to solve bigger problems. I did initially join a big company, but I came here to do my MBA and solve problems that matter in today’s society. Entrepreneurship is a brilliant way to make a positive contribution.
How would you suggest that someone use the Martin Trust Center?
Part of it is just being in the environment, and the energy.. I would encourage everyone who does the MBA to get as much face-time with the staff as possible.