San Joaquin Valley as a global center for high technology.

The San Joaquin Valley has long been known as one of the world's most abundant agricultural centers.

Today, in addition to our rich agricultural roots, the San Joaquin Valley is fast becoming known as a global center for high technology.

The rise of high technology in the San Joaquin Valley

  • 1883
    Fresno's James Porteous invents the Fresno Scraper, the genesis for the modern earthmover.
  • 1958
    Bank of America pioneers the world's first general-use credit card, the BankAmericard, in Fresno.
  • 1982
    Ken and Roberta Williams open Sierra On-Line in Oakhurst, a firm that would shape the future of the video game industry.
  • 1996
    The Central Valley Business Incubator (CVBI) opens as a resource for Fresno-based startups.
  • 2000
    The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), a trailblazing high technology high school, opens in Clovis.
  • 2003
    Fresno's Regional Jobs Initiative launches, including the Software and Innovation Clusters.
  • 2007
    The Claude C. Laval Water and Energy Technology Center (WET Center) opens, advancing water and energy technology in the region.
  • 2010
    Software development competition 59DaysOfCode, which catalyzed and celebrated the region's vast technology industry, launches.
  • 2011
    Irma Olguin, Jr. and Travis Sheridan open Hashtag, the first collaborative workspace for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.
  • 2013
    Bitwise Industries opens Geekwise Academy, a coding school, and Bitwise Mural District, a technology hub in Downtown Fresno. Ideaworks opens Fresno's first maker-space for local inventors.
  • 2015
    Decipher, Inc., the largest software development firm in Fresno is acquired by international market research technology firm FocusVision. The Atlantic publishes an article titled, "California's Centers of Technology: Bay Area, San Diego, and …Fresno?"

And there's still much more to be excited for...

The launch of the 59DaysOfCode Foundation to advance arts and culture in the tech industry, regional tech education, and a laboratory for rapid prototyping and robotics.
The opening of Fresno Unified School District's Phillip Patiño High School, the nation's first public high school dedicated to entrepreneurship and high technology.
Completion of Bitwise South Stadium, a tech hub in Downtown Fresno housing 40 companies, a café, a gym, a 200-seat stadium theater, and an educational facility including both Geekwise Academy and Fresno State.

Here's our three-part strategy for inspiring technological achievement in the San Joaquin Valley for generations to come:


Art & Culture For The Technology Industry

  • #FreakingBrilliant—This engaging speaker series designed to inspire the geek in all of us launches October 8, 2015 with Steve Wozniak at the Saroyan Theatre. Yes, that Steve Wozniak.
  • Competition—For half a decade, 59DaysOfCode challenged technologists to build what's next, launching more than a dozen businesses and hundreds of careers. Expect more of that …way more.
  • Music + Technology—Imagine the coolest high tech gadget you've ever played with, and the best live concert you've ever attended. Now smash them together.

Technology Education To Transform A Region

  • Tech Education—Fund cutting-edge programs for schools and economic development agencies in the San Joaquin Valley region.
  • Tech Scholarships—Fund scholarships for aspiring technologists in the San Joaquin Valley region.
  • Tech Research—Fund world-altering technology research right here in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Lab

  • What it is—A 3,000 SF rapid prototyping and robotics lab inside Bitwise South Stadium.
  • Student Access—The Lab will allow area youth to participate in national and international robotics competitions and programs.
  • Inventor Access—Through its membership model, The Lab will allow inventors to tinker, test, and build.
  • Industry Access—The Lab will be a place where industry pros work alongside school-aged students, and mentorships happen organically.

Advisory Board

  • Suja George
  • Risa Isard
  • Mike Pronovost
  • Quentin Sanford
  • Michael Wanke
  • Nora Ceballos
  • Xavier Martinez
  • Jake Soberal
  • Irma Olguin
  • John Dodson

Board of Directors

  • Eric Liguori (Secretary)
  • Derrick Reimer (President)
  • Matt Nicoletti (Treasurer)
  • Hillary Bell
  • Damon Thomas
  • Nelson Sebra

59DaysOfCode Transparent Logo

July 20, 2015

Dear Community Partner,

In recent years we have seen a rapid rise in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities for students in the areas of engineering and robotics. Some of the programs that have taken root at the elementary, middle, and high school levels are FIRST Robotics League, Vex Robotics, and FIRST Lego Robotics. At the post-secondary education level, we have observed a myriad of opportunities that build upon these foundations. Still further, we have witnessed the arrival of the "Maker Movement" to Fresno. And, most importantly, we are seeing a rapid increase within and outside of our region in the need for qualified engineers and technologists, the very sort of professional that these programs seek to inspire.

These programs face a variety of challenges, chief among them are funding, venue, and equipment. We are aware of and support the initiative of 59DaysOfCode to launch a regional lab space where students from around the region can pursue these exciting opportunities, inside of the Bitwise South Stadium technology hub. Such an innovation space would help divide the cost of space and equipment across multiple schools. This would open up the vast opportunity of robotics and engineering to a significantly greater number of students in our region.

Upon the opening of this lab facility we intend to make it available to our students, engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs, together with the various programs that have a need for this sort of facility; the lab will fill a pressing need for space and equipment. Further, based on its track record of successfully inspiring technological achievement in the Fresno Region, we can sustain this lab.

Thank you for your support in this endeavor. We believe that your contribution will have a dramatic and positive impact on our children and region for generations to come.


Frances Squire
Director of Marketing
West Hills College
Frank Gornick
West Hills College
Rick Watson
Center for Advanced Research and Technology
Sally Fowler
Executive Officer of College and Career Readiness
Fresno Unified School District
Irma L. Olguin, Jr.
Edit LLC
Jake A. Soberal
Bitwise Industries
John W. Dodson
SJV Technology Group
Randy Morris
Superintendent of Schools
Kingsburg Unified School District
Brett Taylor
Petino High School for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
Kurt Madden
Chief Technology Officer
Fresno Unified School District
Edward Gonzalez
Superintendent of Schools
Madera Unified School District
Edgar Blunt
Career Pillar
Lee Ann Eager
Fresno County Economic Development Corporation
Dr. Timothy Stearns
Executive Director
Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State
Paul Lake
Teacher and Robotics Team Advisor
Buchanan High School
Michael Hansen
Superintendent of Schools
Fresno Unified School District
Jonathan Browns
Director of Science
Clovis North Educational Center
Andrew Shinn
Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship Instructor
Reedley College
Deborah Nankivell
Fresno Business Council
Joseph Castro
Fresno State University
Michael Adam
Board Chair
Central Valley Robotics
Derrick Reimer
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Eric Liguori
University of Tampa
Damon Q. Thomas
Chris Roggenstein
Forward Advantage
Fabrizio Lofaro
Director of Instructional Services
Valley ROP
Joey Campbell
Washington Union High School
Carole Goldsmith
West Hills College