Is Omaha becoming the hub of Silicon Prairie?

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The Midwest is fast becoming a major player in technological development. Right now, AIM Infotec is hosting the Midwest's largest annual conference, bringing more than a thousand leading business and IT professionals.

We're all familiar with drones, but this is one technological advance that has a variety of functions.

“There are programming challenges you can use with some of these drones that enables kids to explore STEM, science technology engineering and math to get them interested in technology, programming all of those fields,” said AIM Systems Engineer Jon Larsen.

“Having the experience at a young age, gets them prepared, gets them informed about how to use that in methods good towards society,” Larsen said.

And that's the goal of this national conference to share innovation and expertise.

It's an event that has started to make Omaha a major player in the advancement of technology and the center of what's now called the Silicon Prairie.

“There's a lot being said around Silicon Valley and how expensive it is to live out there,” said Larsen. “We have a low cost of living, you can get almost anywhere in 30 minutes but we have a lot of digital nomads in town, we also have a lot of technology.”

And with technology becoming more affordable, more people and businesses are getting on board.

“The more diversity there is in the types of businesses that are able to use technology to be able to help individuals so Omaha and the surrounding area have a lot of different companies that people may or may not know about,” said Dave Vankat, AIM manager of events.

“As soon as I land, I get in my car and I pass Microsoft, pass Paypal, I'm seeing some pretty big companies that have buildings I'm driving past so it’s not any large stretch of the imagination as to why it would great to be in the center of the country both from a logistical and proximity standpoint...and it's a great town to come to,” said Dustin Tauer, an instructor from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It's helping to change the perception of Omaha as "fly-over" area to technological hub.