IBM Team Departs Fresno Excited About Economic Opportunities

May 10, 2013 No Comments by

FRESNO – The seven-person IMB Smarter Cities Challenge Team wrapped up its three-week stay in Fresno with a presentation at Fresno City Hall where they offered suggestions as to how Fresno could be more economically viable.

Team member Brian Snitzer said that because of Fresno’s strong agricultural community, which produces more than 350 different crops, the city can develop agricultural technologies that can’t be started anywhere else in the world.  Part of the key is retaining skilled members of the Millennial Generation, several thousand of whom are graduating from Fresno State, and keeping what they can offer in Fresno, particularly the downtown area.

“IBM said that Fresno has a lot of economic opportunities,” said Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.  “They encouraged us to take advantage of the production ag that’s here, connect that major industry with our up and coming software industry in Fresno.  Put the two together and you’ve got the world’s leading ag tech center.”

The downtown Fresno area was a big topic of discussion.  The availability of Broadband Internet downtown would give another reason for businesses to start there, and offer them advantages as well.  There was also talk of developing a branding campaign incorporating positive messages, and imitating successful downtown programs like ArtHop and CartHop with a Wine Walk.  The IBM team said Fresno is full of opportunities, and to focus on the many positives.

“We want to thank you for sharing with us a little slice of Heaven,” said team member Bill Keegan.

Agriculture, Education, Government, Headlines, Technology

About the author

James Olinger is a native of the San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from West Hills College in Coalinga, California in 2000 with an associate's degree in liberal arts. He joined Business Street in 2004 as a staff writer, and became the associate editor in 2007. He maintains that position today, writing for Business Street Online in a variety of topics.
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