A third-generation Mexican American, she is the granddaughter and daughter of field laborers and the first in her family to go to college. She self-identifies as queer and stands all of 5 feet tall, with hair dyed pink at the tips. Most days she wears jeans and T-shirts.
After College, Irma Olguin returned home to Fresno intent on using her skills to uplift her community. Her Bitwise Industries has since landed $27 million in venture funding and trained 4,500 workers to code. In 2013, Irma L. Olguin Jr. decided to build a company focused on strengthening the tech industry in Fresno, Calif. and leveraging it as the economic driver to remake the city. Bitwise Industries now operates with the goal of activating human potential for the technology industry in underdog cities across the United States.
As CEO and co-founder, Irma oversees the company’s operations teams, as well as the technology-focused training program of Geekwise Academy, and software development firm, Shift3 Technologies. A main component of her role is ensuring the company’s fidelity to mission, strategy, and long-term goals.
Previously, Irma created 59DaysOfCode, a software development competition to highlight and encourage the Central Valleyʼs tech industry. She co-founded Hashtag, an open workspace for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate. And, she co-founded Edit LLC to solve efficiency and data issues in the agricultural industry.
Even if the real estate business is slow to recover, Geekwise and Shift3 are in growth mode and planning to hire 70 staffers by year-end.
Olguin is determined to succeed.