The official grand opening of Little Rock’s Tech Park is scheduled for Monday afternoon. The mission of the facility, located in the heart of downtown Little Rock, is to foster innovation and collaboration among entrepreneurs and established technology companies, and to spur economic growth.
Kevin Zaffaroni, chairman of the board for the Tech Park, says the project is showing success.
“The real reason the Tech Park is in place is to create economic development opportunities in Little Rock. Now there are a lot of different ways to measure that; one would be the number of companies there. When the Tech Park opened on the 1st of March there were 15 companies that called it home and today there are 24,” said Zaffaroni.
Two of the 24 businesses are new to the city, according to Zaffaroni.
“Last summer FIS ran an accelerator program where they invited 10 companies from around the country to come in and do some R&D (research and development) type work for them. Two of those companies relocated,” said Zaffaroni, “one from Atlanta and one from St. Louis.”
Funding for the first stage of the project was approved by voters in 2011 as part of $22.5 million sales tax referendum. The location of Tech Park was the source of some controversy in the planning stages before it found a home in what has become known as the Creative Corridor on Main Street.
Monday’s Grand Opening is free to the public from 4-6 p.m.