Gina Lujan – Social Entrepreneur
Founding CEO of Hacker Lab and Code For Hood, Gina is a Social Entrepreneur. She focuses on community development, innovation and strategy, regional, and economic development at Hacker Lab. Gina possesses 20 years’ technology experience in web development and is a repurpose maker.
Hacker Lab has three locations and over 700 members. It hosts 50 to 80 educational focused user groups and classes a month, totaling over 8000 students a year. In addition, Hacker Lab is home to a constant rotation of private offices for startups and hundreds of freelancers. Revenue from companies, freelancers, and entrepreneurs is in the millions annually. In less than 7 years, Hacker Lab has quickly grown to be a grassroots technology hub and highly regarded innovation partner for the Sacramento region.
In addition to her entrepreneurial projects, Gina has worked as a consultant with economic development in rural Tuolumne County to assess the region’s innovative community and resources. She also works to solve community problems such as addressing the needs of the underserved, bringing solutions for equality and access to the region, filling the gaps in education, and contributes to workforce development efforts by working alongside local government and organizations. She also worked with her team on stealth projects for Northrop Grumman AS and Toyota as an Innovation Consultant. Hacker Lab has partnered as well with many corporations for innovative partnerships and solutions such as Intel, VSP, SMUD, and Kaiser.
Gina was recognized as one of Sacramento Business Journal’s 25 Business Leaders of 2012 and 2013. She also received an International Women’s Day award from the Sacramento Community. In addition, she was named the recipient of the region’s highly regarded 2013’s Women Who Mean Business Award, Regional Economic Leader for 2013, and a national award for Latina of Excellence In Information Sciences and Technology in 2015.
Her other endeavor is Code For Hood, a nonprofit aimed at educating disadvantaged youth by way of hackathons and STEM-related workshops.
With her team for Code For Hood, Gina received the 2018 Mayor’s Choice Award for Community. As well as recognition from Congress and the State Legislator for Civic Engagement in 2018. Most recently Code For Hood received Non-Profit Of The Year from The State Of California with awards from the Senate. In 2016 during the Obama administration, Gina and her team were invited to the White House to participate in a closed session meeting for the Nation Of Makers, advocating for the importance of Maker and Innovation spaces.
The most recent acknowledgment for her team’s efforts at Hacker Lab is the 2019 Hispanic Chamber Salud Business Award for Community.
Gina serves on the Measure U Community Advisory Committee, Metro Chamber Board, Inclusive Economic Development Board, Success Equity STEM Initiative Board, Regional Prosperity Committee, Digital Literacy Advisory Group, Self Awareness, and Recovery Board.
She and her teams’ accomplishments include:
- Opening the first hacker and maker space in Sacramento
- Holding Sacramento’s first public hackathon
- Holding the first urban youth hackathon
- Being the first space in the region with a public gigabit Internet connection
- Being the first maker space in the nation to partner with an academic institution to open innovation space.
- Partnering with VSP to bring the region’s first corporate innovation lab here. “The Shop @VSP”
- Working as Innovation Consultants for Intel, AT&T, SMUD, Northrop Grumman, Toyota, City Of Sacramento, City Of Rocklin, City Of Rancho Cordova.
- Creating a badging program for California Community Colleges
- Creating a badging program for the City Of Sacramento for youth.
Her speaking engagements include:
- CALED2013 Summit – The Power Community Spaces
- JSPAC – Girls In Tech
- Downtown Association Annual Conference – Breeding Innovation Through Community
- Project Lead The Way Annual Conference – Maker Spaces
- Metro Edge Panel Discussion
- CAMEO – Rural Economic Development
- Sierra College NEW STEM Talks For Nontraditional Women’s Careers – Keynote
- Placer County Board Of Education – Keynote
- Sacramento State University – Demystifying STEM – Keynote
- Delta Community College – NEW Event Keynote
- TEDX Livermore – The Power Of People
- Delta Community College – NEW Event – Keynote
- UC Davis Entrepreneurship Catalyst
- Black Chamber Of Commerce – Women’s Forum
- Maker Faire 2018 – Keynote Main Stage
- State Of Hispanics – 2018
- UniversityOf Pacific – Disrupting Education 2018
- State Of The Middle-Class Latinos – Ca Latino Economic Council
Her specialty topic is discussing the power of community spaces and how they greatly affect today’s economy. She is also an expert at grassroots community building, civic engagement, and thinking outside the box.
25 Business Leaders Of The Year – Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/print-edition/2012/12/28/leaders-of-the-year- gina-lujan.html
Love at first byte: Tech Co-Founders meet through dating sites – Reuters http://blogs.reuters.com/small-business/2013/02/14/love-at-first-byte-tech-co- founders-meet-through-dating-sites/
2013 Women Who Mean Business Awards – Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/12/26/gina-lujan-co-founder-hacker-lab-top-exe.html?page=all
Mom Creates Tech Workspace – News 10 http://www.news10.net/news/article/254218/2/Mom-works-to-raise-Sacramentos- tech-profile
Valley Visions Regional Economic Leader
HackerCare Aims To “Hack” Health Care For Startups
Do-It-Yourself Economic Growth –How Communities Can Cultivate Their Talent and Thrive
States, stand down! Let community broadband innovate.
Tech For All