FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — Irma Olguin Jr., 39, is the CEO and co-founder of the startup, Bitwise Industries, in Fresno.
Olguin, the first person to graduate from college in her family, is the daughter of a Central Valley field laborer. She realized after college, there was a lack of tech jobs in underdog cities like Fresno.
Now she focuses on creating a bridge between people from marginalized communities and poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry.
Olguin has proved that leveraging public-private partnerships through Bitwise can help provide paid apprenticeships for students to learn tech skills.
Bitwise has built vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work, including the one in downtown Fresno.
“For every technology job or technology adjacent job that you create, 4.3 additional jobs in local goods and services are also created,” said Olguin.
Bitwise Industries is now a multi-million dollar company with its success highlighted in a Forbes article last year.
As a female CEO and representative of the LGBTQ community, Olguin is passionate about representing under-represented groups and providing them with the opportunities to launch a sustainable career in technology.
“As long as I can bring some sense of inspiration to someone else who might be able to see themselves in what we are doing, I think that is really important. I think representation matters and I will be a representative as long as that makes a difference,” Olguin said.