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September 1, 2021

Bitwise Industries Partners With City of Bakersfield & Kern County To Create Innovation Lab

Bakersfield, Calif., Sept. 1, 2021 – Bitwise Industries, in partnership with Kern County and the City of Bakersfield, today announced the launch of the Ignite Innovation Lab at Bitwise 1701. The technology business incubator will nurture diverse entrepreneurs and be a force for economic growth in the region. The Innovation Lab will allow members of the community the opportunity to take part in a six-month long cohort, primarily focused on creating new businesses and jobs locally.

“This newly minted partnership is a great example of public-private partnerships working to better the community and provide opportunities,” said Amy Thelen, VP of Bitwise, Bakersfield. “Bitwise Industries has a proven track record of building tech ecosystems, training the underserved and with the very generous support of the City and County, we intend to scale our work to serve more of the entrepreneurs of Bakersfield.”

The Ignite Innovation Lab will:

  • Provide workforce development and skills training for target industries
  • Build greater professionalism and skills amongst stakeholders and partners through cross training
  • Serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Create new business opportunities through product exploration and creation
  • Foster greater collaboration amongst economic development partners that will transmit to projects outside the scope of the Innovation Lab

“Bitwise helps individuals acquire the skills to break into the technology industry, and with this partnership we are providing a roadmap for their innovations to come to life here in our community,” said Paul Saldaña, Economic and Community Development Director for the City of Bakersfield. “By investing in diverse founders and giving them a space to flourish, this incubator will have a direct effect on the economy. It will create new companies that will in turn create more jobs and inspire other founders to follow their dreams.”

“This incubator is an exciting addition to the ongoing work being done in Bakersfield and Kern County to grow target industry sectors and address other recommendations from the B3K Prosperity Initiative,” said Teresa Hitchcock, Kern County Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. “By supporting the Ignite Innovation Lab, the City and County can plan a major role in the economic development for Kern County.”

For more information on the innovation lab visit:

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.
Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve five cities (Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, and Toledo); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2021. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out