Alum David Klein Finds Inspiration from Life’s Unique Moments

September 2, 2022

David KleinInspiration can arise from many unique moments in life, but for David Klein, founder of Gener8, LLC in Sunnyvale, Calif., the idea for his company popped up during a trip in the early 2000s with the Berkeley Hang Gliding Club. At the time, “a fair number of Berkeley physicists and engineers were in that group,” Klein recalls. He mentioned to a fellow Berkeley PhD, who was looking to start his own company, Klein’s idea for an engineering services firm that would focus on commercializing complex instrumentation. About two months later, Klein says, his colleague approached and asked, “’are you actually going to do that company because I will be your first customer.’” Klein says the experience is part of the frothy entrepreneurial spirit of the Berkeley area, including nearby Silicon Valley, that he first encountered as a Berkeley Physics PhD candidate in 1992. He credits his graduate education with helping him build a “unique perspective on system design. The thing about physics is that you have to know a little bit about everything.” Being a maker of precision instruments, he says, can be akin to putting together a group of musicians/specialists. “It’s not about having a great first violinist but a very good one, coupled with a very good clarinet player, trumpet player, and so on. It’s about being able to take all of those talents and make them work together in harmony.”