David Karins, founder of Karins Engineering Group, Inc., which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, became interested in entrepreneurship in high school working at his father's company, kept his eye on that goal consistently and as a result was well prepared to strike out on his own when the opportunity presented itself. In part because of that focus, Karins was a rarity in the engineering world – a partner in his own firm at the age of 27.
"I did some mid-level management tasks in my father's construction firm that really sparked something in me and put entrepreneurship on my radar from day one," Karins said. "Years later when I worked for regional engineering companies as department manager, I treated it like my own business even though it wasn't because I was trying to hone my sword so when I did go out on my own, I'd be prepared."
That moment came early in his career. At 27, Karins was approached by another engineer to form a partnership. "Like many partnerships, that one did not work out so I started Karins Engineering Group," he said. Launched in 1999, the firm has grown at 15-20% over the last couple years. "We are growing because of the effort we put into providing high quality service to our customers," Karins said. "We've been a good place to work for our employees and now we are growing at faster rate due to improvements in the construction economy."
Being named as one of GrowFL's Companies to Watch is important objective confirmation of Karins' appraisal of the firm's performance. "It validates our overall philosophy of providing high quality service while still being true to core values of working for the benefit of our customers, employees and general public to enhance our built environment.
Karins advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to let things roll off your back. "Have thick skin," he said. "Don’t let setbacks and individual failures translate to giving up or quitting."