Saline County the next Silicon Valley?

Saline County the next Silicon Valley?

Could Saline County be the next Silicon Valley? One online publication thinks so but one of the state's top computer scientists says the county might want to tap into resources it already has.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Could Saline County be the next Silicon Valley? One online publication thinks so but one of the state's top computer scientists says the county might want to tap into resources it already has.

“Business Insider" ranked Saline County the country's 8th most likely next Silicon Valley based on workforce and broadband availability. But one UALR professor says forget the chip-making aspect of Silicon Valley, gaming and mobile apps are where it's at.

UALR Dept. of Computer Science Chair Remzi Seker teaches UALR students how to become computer experts and wants to see Arkansas find its technology niche.

"I am not sure that right now we are ready to spend that much capital to become the next Silicone Valley,” he says. “Please keep in mind that other cities in other states have tried and some of those facilities are sitting empty as we speak."

That niche could be making mobile apps which anyone can now do from their desktop.

"Smartphones are going to be very, very lucrative in the near future,” Seker says. “It already is, but if you look at the penetration of smart phones into the society globally, it is just mind boggling."

Seker says develop an app and you could become an instant millionaire.

"It's just to give the scale of the pie that's out there to be grabbed and this is the right time and we have to be very smart of taking advantage of this opportunity."

Seker wants to make sure state leaders go after animation, gaming and mobile app companies so his students don't have to leave Arkansas to find jobs.

"Business Insider" ranked Craighead County at the top of its list.

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