Bitwise furloughs: Who are co-CEOs Jake Soberal and Irma Olguin Jr.?

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With news of the Fresno-based tech company Bitwise Industries suddenly furloughing their entire workforce this week, we found out more about the two founders and co-CEOs.

Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal are the pair behind Bitwise Industries, which opened its doors in 2013.

According to the Bitwise company website, Olguin Jr. oversees the screening and interviewing of all employment candidates and apprentices for Bitwise Industries, including Bitwise Workforce Training and Bitwise Technology Services.

Olguin Jr.’s biography states that the idea of Bitwise was put into motion in 2012 over drinks with her then-IP attorney, Jake Soberal, who is the co-founder and co-CEO of Bitwise Industries.

Previously, Irma created 59DaysOfCode, a competition highlighting and encouraging the Central Valleyʼs tech industry, of which Soberal is a board member. She co-founded Hashtag, an open co-workspace for designers and developers, and also co-founded Edit LLC to solve efficiency and data issues in the ag industry. Irma holds a degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio.

Jake Soberal leads Bitwise Industries in vision casting, real estate development, and strategic initiatives, according to the company website.

Soberal grew up in Clovis and prior to co-founding Bitwise, he practiced intellectual property law at Walter & Wilhelm Law Group in Fresno.

According to his biography, Soberal has teamed up with art advocacy nonprofit Creative Fresno to launch the Boomerang Project, an initiative aimed at reversing the city’s “brain drain” by connecting high-level jobs with talented individuals who’d previously moved away for greater prospects. He helped launch “I Believe in Downtown,” a grassroots campaign for the redevelopment of downtown Fresno and investment in Fulton Street. He also sits on the board of the Downtown Fresno Partnership and Neighborhood Industries.

Soberal holds a dual degree in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Western State College of Law.

As of Thursday, the Bitwise Industries website remains online.

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