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Q-and-A with donor and CEO David Mirsky '76

Donor support enhances startup growth at Koffman incubator

University President Stenger with Binghamton University Foundation board member Betsy Koffman and David Mirsky and Cynthia Mirsky
From left: Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger with Binghamton University Foundation board member Betsy Koffman, David Mirsky '76 and Cynthia Mirsky. Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

Representatives from Binghamton University, the Binghamton University Foundation and Koffman Southern Tier Incubator celebrated the generosity of David Mirsky ’76 and his wife, Cynthia A. Mirsky, at a dedication and reception April 8 at the Koffman incubator in downtown Binghamton.

In recognition of their support to enhance startup success, meeting space on the second floor of the incubator was named the Cynthia and David ’76 Mirsky Collaboration Area.

The incubator offers offices, labs, co-working spaces, programming and other resources to foster entrepreneurship and advance startup development.

David is CEO and co-founder of Pacific Rim Capital Inc., a lessor of material-handling equipment. Cynthia is director of special projects at the company, based in Irvine, Calif. Below, David provides his insights on the couple’s charitable giving and what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Q: Why is it important for you to support the University and Koffman incubator?

A: The American dream still lives and is available to anyone who has the ingenuity, drive and desire to create a business of any kind. Binghamton, by supporting the creation of companies that can change the world and improve lives, will have a great impact on the future. This is very important to Cindy and me as we consider the legacy of our lives.

In 1990, I co-founded my company, Pacific Rim Capital. PRC is now the country’s largest independent lessor of forklifts and related equipment for household-name multinational corporations. We operate in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

My BS in management science from Binghamton prepared me well for the work that I do now and for the jobs I had prior to 1990. Being an entrepreneur has changed my life and enabled me to live a wonderful, sunny lifestyle in California and for Cindy and me to support philanthropic causes that improve lives and are meaningful to us. We have watched our employees raise and educate families. And very importantly, we have created something that can live on forever and grow to be a very large enterprise in the future.

Q: What do you envision as potential impacts of your support?

A: I hope that some smart young people will be able to start interesting businesses and learn lessons that will enable them to build other companies in the future. Every successful business spreads opportunity throughout its community.

Q: Is there any advice you’d like to offer our students or the entrepreneurs at the incubator based on your professional experiences?

A: There are so many bits of advice I’d like to offer. But the most important thing that comes to mind is to have a plan before you start. Your plan will change, but you need to think deeply about your idea, why it will work, what evidence you have to back that up, and what your costs and revenues will be. It is easy to run out of money, so you need to think about where the funding will come from. And expect to work harder than you ever have before. Go, Bearcats! Get it done!