University of St. Francis (USF) graduate Jason Kolb was just 11 years old when he picked up his dad’s C programming college textbook and taught himself how to write his own computer games. By the time he was 14, he wrote and published his own book on game programming.
Through the years, Kolb held various full-time programming jobs and co-founded Latigent, a Web-based business intelligence product suite which was acquired by Cisco Systems. He worked as a technical leader for Cisco until 2010, when he founded Applied Data Labs, Inc., an incubation and licensing company for the technology he’s currently developing. Kolb is also the owner of Rock Solid Capital, which provides capital to fund real estate investments.
“Programming comes naturally to me, and I was lucky to discover at a young age what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Kolb, of Plainfield, Ill. “I’ve had a pretty satisfying career so far, and I have lots of ideas for future projects.”
The once homeschooled student took classes at a local community college when he was 16 and enrolled at USF when he was 18. Enrolling at USF was an easy decision for Kolb. He liked the university’s proximity to home and flexible class schedule and his father also attended.
“I got a well-rounded education and learned from faculty that were passionate about their areas of focus,” said Kolb. “At USF, I took a painting class. Here I am, years later, and I still paint. USF exposed me to areas that I might not have explored on my own.”
Kolb graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001. He was a member of Epsilon Delta Pi Computer Science Honor Society.
Kolb encourages USF students to take advantage of everything the university has to offer including the people, the equipment and the classes.
“You will appreciate your college experience later in life so make the most of it while you’re there,” said Kolb. “Pour yourself into your goals and you will be successful.”
Kolb, now a father of three, is living proof of his own advice.