Wow! What a Year. How do you follow up a year like 2020? We didn’t know what to expect going into ‘21. Would the pandemic get better? Worse? More variants? Would our business suffer? Would our quality of living through these ebbs and flows deteriorate further or get better? The onset of this year gave us a lot of future-focused questions that we knew we’d uncover together along the way. While some folks have differing opinions depending on lived experiences, we at Bitwise saw really exciting things happen through the ups and downs of this year and wanted to share some highlights, and give you an update on our state of mind as we go into 2022. Major Ups Our own Co-CEO and Co-founder of Bitwise Industries, Irma L. Olguin Jr. was invited to be a part of TEDTalks at TEDMonterey in August. With the TED theme supporting “The Case for Optimism,” Irma shared how Bitwise aims to activate human potential through the technology industry in underserved cities across the United States. Her time on stage highlighted how Bitwise leans heavily into investing and leveraging talent from underrepresented communities to elevate entire cities, support livelihoods and create a more inclusive world. (Also Lizzo was part of this speakers’ panel!) Bitwise Industries took another big step forward when we secured $50M in series B financing to help us expand our footprint in Fresno and continue to create jobs in cities where we recognize a void in technology and a serious potential for growth. These funds will help us further our public-private partnerships, provide paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connect them to tech opportunities, and create vibrant spaces in underestimated cities to house their work. To date, our Digital New Deal initiative has trained more than 5,000 individuals. Additionally, we have campuses in Fresno, Bakersfield, Oakland, and Merced. With many more set to open across the U.S. in 2022. It’s Just a Pleasure Being Nominated We know Bitwise is an amazing place to work. But it is kinda nice to have other’s sling some praise our way to recognize the sincere efforts that are made from the top down to provide a work culture that is inviting, nurturing, life-giving, and supportive to our communities at large. Everyone here understands that is not the norm around the globe; in fact, our humans couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this organization. We were humbled to be recognized by several publications for the work we do and the experience we create for our people and communities. Fortune Magazine awarded us two distinctions: Fortune’s ‘Top 100 Places to Work for Millennials’ and Fortune’s ‘Great Best Small & Medium Workplaces in 2021.’ We were also recognized in Newsweek’s ‘America’s Most Loved Workplaces in 2021’ and People’s ‘100 Companies That Care in 2021: Employers Putting Their Communities First.’ To be honest, we made lots of amazing lists as a top workplace, but these really rocked our world. So Many New Digs Growth. This has been on the tip of our collective tongues all year. We knew it would happen and it happened fast. Our staff grew by 350% this year alone. It’s exciting to see the new faces and the possibilities all of this talent brings to the table. Even though we are working from home, we will need somewhere for all of these people to sit come the day we return to work. That clock has been ticking for a lot of people on our team who have been feverishly working to create those new spaces for us to one day call our work home. This year we opened a building in Bakersfield, California and have a second one on the way. We’re excited to see the finishing touches going into our upcoming campus in Toledo, Ohio. Bitwise Toledo will reside in a 100,000 sq. ft. historic building in the heart of downtown Toledo. And finally, Bitwise Industries’ flagship office in Fresno will receive its grand opening in 2022. Uniting downtown Fresno’s past and future, Bitwise will occupy the 100-year-old State Center Warehouse. Introducing … a Few New Services In 2021 Bitwise Industries launched two new services. The first is our professional Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) support that allows us to provide our clients with the ability to manage their customer interactions through any channel of communication—voice, web, chat, SMS, or video. Customers expect a positive experience that completely satisfies their reason for contacting our clients’ org, and this omnichannel interaction fortifies the customer experience at every touchpoint to increase brand ambassadors and personalize the customer experience through every positive transaction. Since 2018, Ordrslip–one of Bitwise’s portfolio companies–has helped restaurants join the takeout revolution by providing an all-in-one solution that gives restaurants a seamless digital ordering app experience that is unique with their branding and paired with an online digital presence. This year, Ordrslip entered into a partnership with DoorDash’s white label fulfillment platform, DoorDash Drive. This partnership allows restaurants using Ordrslip’s technology to use the DoorDash network to fulfill their delivery orders. With this union, customers using the Ordrslip app will have simple ordering options paired with a trusted delivery service. The Lives at Bitwise What a year it has been at Bitwise Industries. There is much to celebrate, but the most important thing is each other. The people that work hard every day to make a difference in this world endured another year of oddities as we continued our life together online. Fortunately, we have a lot of great technology that helped us engage with each other from a distance, but there’s a growing groundswell desire to be in person. We will be. One day. Our building teams are making sure that when we return to work it will be a safe experience, wrapped in the Bitwise culture that we all continue to crave. In addition to creating safe environments in 2021, our focus has been reinforcing the mental health of each other. Every Friday in Q4 was deemed a “mental health” day. These were mandatory days off so each of us could better take care of ourselves and those around us. The work continued to get done, but the priority, like always at Bitwise, continues to be our people. Because of these earnest efforts, our people look forward to everything 2022 has to offer. Putting the Culture in Corporate Culture Want to hear more about Bitwise Industries? Whether you have a question about our corporate culture or want to optimize your business with technology, schedule a chat with us using this link. We’d be happy to help you out! This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he’s trying to figure out why a peanut is called a peanut. It’s not even a nut!