Irma Olguin, Jr. - Participant

As CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries, Irma Olguin Jr. oversees the company’s operations teams, as well as technology-focused training program, 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.

At 17 she moved to Ohio to study at the University of Toledo, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and computer engineering, along with a minor in business.

Computers, she admits, were a shock to everyone—including her. Irma often recounts the tale of ending up in that profession by accident (by choosing the shiniest building in the course catalog, then later learning it was the College of Engineering). Her days and goals now revolve around the idea that accessing life-changing opportunities doesn't have to be quite so accidental.

The path she’s paved is evidence of her mother's guiding advice, "Make a decision and make it work." In 2010, Olguin created 59DaysOfCode, a software development competition to highlight and encourage the Central Valley's tech industry. A year later she cofounded Hashtag, an open workspace for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate. And in 2013, she co-founded Edit LLC to solve efficiency and data issues in the agricultural industry. In 2012, over a Red Bull (her) and gin and tonic (him) with her IP attorney, the decision was made to build a company focused on strengthening the tech industry in Fresno, leveraging it as the economic driver that could remake a city.

The best part of all of her ventures, according to Olguin, is figuring out what people are good at and the role they are best suited for. Adjusting the world such that more good people can spend their time doing good work and less time worrying about how to put gas in the tank is, she says, the only way she knows to save the world.

As the middle child of her family, Olguin is close with both of her siblings—one older and one younger, as well as her mom and roommate/dog/Bitwise mascot, Bruce. In her spare time, you can find Olguin drinking tea—a lot of it—and reading everything from history books, to fantasy stories, to spy novels.

Background

Organization

Bitwise Industries

Title

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder