Valley Works: BitWise Industries

November 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
BitWise Industries has 21 businesses operating under one roof in Downtown Fresno. Business owners say the relaxed atmosphere and sense of community makes the workplace at BitWise like none other in Fresno.

Fresno City College's partnership with Google is helping to meet the demand of the Valley's growing tech businesses. BitWise is part of that partnership. The company is providing the resources and education that could make the Valley a viable option for tech companies.

"We started BitWise because we thought we could be a part of transforming our local economy by levering the growing technology industry and providing support to it so it could grow," BitWise CEO Jake Soberal said.

BitWise industries, tagged as the mothership of technological education, collaboration and innovation, was founded by Soberal and Irma Olguin.

"What we did do is went out and demonstrated that this talent does exist, this technology does exist and there is this level of activity in Fresno that's already at critical mass and we just wanted to bring it together and so then you're not convincing people you are showing them," Soberal said.

When BitWise opened it had room for 12 companies to operate within its building. The available spaces were completely leased out within three days. The company did some renovation adding more space and now there are 22 companies operating out of the building.

Edit, a company that develops web applications, is the largest companies within BitWise with eight employees.

"I've been lucky enough to work at a number of firms around town and this is the first one I've actually seen create a tech movement in Fresno," Web App Developer Matthew Higley said.

Bitwise is not only helping tech businesses grow by providing them with the resources they need, the company is also educating those who want jobs in tech industries.

GeekWise academy also operates out of BitWise industries. Soberal said it is a bridge between traditional education and the tech industry.

"What we are doing is identifying hard skills in the technology industry we are compartmentalizing them into six week courses and they we are teaching them," Soberal said.

Providing the Valley with trained tech workers and creating a local hub for companies to grow is part of the BitWise vision that is creating a lot of excitement.

"I absolutely want to be a part of that it would be tough to pull me away from this place," Higley said.

BitWise has a goal to keep tech workers in the Valley. In the past many would seek jobs outside of Fresno. BitWise is working to retain the talent by providing them with the same work atmosphere they might find in the Silicon Valley.


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