Kurling Robinson is a co-founder, musician and start-up visionary with over 25 years of expertise in software development and entrepreneurship. Kurling’s unique path was woven by the arts (Getty), automotive (Toyota), technology (NetZero), energy (IFS) and the drive to help his fellow man. With his first start-up at age 19, he learned very early that information and responsibility go hand and hand.
Leveraging his Computer Science degree from the University of Southern California, Kurling has facilitated many successful companies. With the incubator through USC Viterbi, he acted as an advisor and served on the board for several companies that were funded. He is a venture consultant at the USC Blackstone Launchpad. In collaboration with key partners like Apple, Blackstone, Google and universities, he is leading a team to create the Fōkcus platform, which uses machine learning to quickly assess entrepreneurs and match them with screened, certified business mentors.
Why are you passionate about workforce development?
It impacts so many people. It really touches everyone’s lives and careers regardless of where you live. Workforce development reaches all communities and provides opportunities for everyone. I am passionate about helping the community and I love how workforce development can truly help build the San Diego community.
If you had $1M to donate to a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?
I would put all the money in opportunity youth programs. I’ve spoken at a local cafe and talked to opportunity youth and, at that single event, we created five companies in two hours. Putting more resources into our youth is essential. They’re our future and I’ve seen the affect the impact they have. They just need some mentorship and someone that can help them along their career path.
I’ve also been involved with the Workforce Partnership’s Opportunity Summit and would love to put some of the money into their flagship event. The partners that are involved know what they’re doing and can make a difference. Getting more key stakeholders involved by providing financial support can make a big difference in who gets involved and how many youth we can reach.
What do you like best about being on the Workforce Development Board?
The diversity of the board—we have the president of the Community College District, some that have backgrounds in tech such as Microsoft and many others that represent various industries. Hearing their perspectives and learning about new things has been a really great personal growth opportunity.
In turn, I’m also able to give others a perspective on the tech and start-up side. I’m able to share the great work being done in tech and educate others.
Why is workforce development important for San Diego County?
San Diego needs a lot of help in a lot of different areas, like tech. The program that’s been helping my community most is TechHire. The TechHire San Diego program will help San Diego move forward with technological advances and foster innovation by providing new learning and career opportunities.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I’m an introvert so I love taking walks and writing music. San Diego is perfect because there are beaches and nature. My wife always tells me I really love walks because I go on so many but that’s really my time to think and clear my head.