Flat hierarchies, a young and open team – this is now the standard of many start-ups and also applies to ERC. With one exception: all our employees have a common dream that is bigger than themselves. Namely, to build an aircraft that will outlast them and have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of people all over the world.
In our employee stories, we introduce you to the people behind the #BiggerThanUs dream. One of them is Marco Häde.
Marco, what skills did you acquire before joining ERC and bring to the team?
Actually, I come from an electronics engineering background in systems development. With an extensive aviation background, broad experience in the operational business of mainly medium-sized companies and a passionate fondness to work with my hands as well. From many years of leadership, I also bring a certain degree of social skills. I believe this experience plays a crucial role in our challenging environment.
What do you mean?
(Laughs) Towards the end of individual development phases, time often becomes scarce. We then spend a lot of time together at a stretch. We share our passion, but we are different characters – so we need empathy and resilience now and again.
Why did you decide to work in the team at ERC?
I immediately liked the dynamism and openness that exists here among us colleagues. You notice immediately: here is an untrodden ground that each of us can help shape in our own way. In this way, we are building the path to our great goal with a diversity of talents, ways of thinking and strengths. And – not unimportantly – we have the serious and long-term security of a European investor behind us. This is a good place to “build the future”.
“In a young company, it is not unusual to take on every task that comes up.“
What is your job at ERC and what does it involve?
In a young company, it is not unusual to take on every task that comes up. In addition to working on the current development steps of our aircraft, I am also involved in building up our operational business. For the time being, I have taken on the exclusive task of project management. This means not only the technical organisation and coordination of all processes, but also the human aspects in particular. At least, that’s how I see it … because my tasks also include maintaining a good culture and recruiting new colleagues for our team!
That sounds like a very packed day! What does your working day at ERC usually look like?
At the moment we are really in a hot phase. It’s not unusual for things to be hectic for many days in a row.At the same time, we attach great importance to regular exchange. We spend a lot of time in workshops and on collateral tasks. Because we spend a lot of time in workshops and on bilateral assignments, I try to be available when someone needs support or has questions. Of course, the dishwasher has to be emptied sometimes and the “social cuppa” between meals is not to be missed either.
What else can you learn at ERC besides the purely technical stuff?
You can get involved in as many other topics and issues as you like, beyond your actual area of expertise. That’s why it’s important for you to always be ready to think outside the box. The technical challenge of building an eVTOL is huge, but we overcome it together with many individual steps. With such a complex project, you have to learn to constantly change your perspective and this is the place to do it. Every day we deepen our ability to make decisions and evaluate them in terms of which ones need to be fixed and which ones do not. At the moment, our team is still small and familial. It is also crucial to know the values, motivations and fears of our colleagues as well as our own and to learn to deal with them.
So social skills are very important to you. Are these also the biggest challenges in your team or have you already had to overcome something difficult?
(Laughs) I believe it’s been finding a logo together with the agency and internally within the team, one that everyone finds kind of cool.
“Our vision is clearly more than the sum of our efforts, ideas, methods and knowledge.“
What does #BiggerThanUs mean to you?
Our vision is clearly more than the sum of our efforts, ideas, methods and knowledge. But EVERY little part influences the result.
No one thinks they are too important here and so something is emerging that is “WE” and #BiggerThanUs.
Your team is living the dream of developing a flying machine. When did your dream of flying begin and what does it look like?
After I was allowed into the cockpit of an aeroplane once as a six-year-old child, my fascination grew about how such large machines can manage to fly safely. This developed into the desire to become a pilot, which was unfortunately not financially possible at the time, after I left school. So instead, I decided to build flying machines and to approach my dream from that side. Now I understand why planes fly and learn how to develop them.
What keeps you motivated?
Having goals and learning, learning, learning – what could be cooler than being at the forefront of a development you deeply believe in? Results you can touch, being able to be creative and try things out, and finally seeing a dream become reality. The prospect of that picks me up every time.
It says above: More than just a startup. What is so special about working in the team at ERC?
eRC-System GmbH develops a manned electrical vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, having all aspects of certified aerospace products in mind, right from the start. The company is closely cooperating with suppliers, partners and authorities in order to realize sustainable solutions for technical, operational, and infrastructural challenges.
ERC was founded in 2020 by a team of aerospace engineers that already has gained experience in this field for many years. Being pioneers in the development of new technologies that will last beyond a human and that will have impact on the daily lives of millions, requires ERC’s “Passioneering spirit” – the combination of passion and know-how.
Being well-funded, the initial team already grew a full-featured company around the topic that is still prospering fast and highly dynamic.