The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is pleased to announce that it has received the soft landing designation from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). Soft landing designees provide the necessary accommodations to ensure that international companies experience a “soft landing” when entering a new country. This designation was awarded to UACI because of its long-established reputation as a proven entrepreneurship center that has clearly demonstrated the capabilities necessary to provide resources and programming to international companies seeking new market entry in the United States.
Last year, the U.S. Department of State teamed up with the UA Center for Innovation to support international entrepreneurs with their Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative. UACI hosted a cohort of international small business executives and provided access to potential customers, networking, mentoring and entrepreneurial skills training. UACI was chosen as a host incubator site for its capacity to support science and/or technology-based startups in a physical incubator setting and its unique connection to the University of Arizona. UACI was one of only 10 selected sites nationwide and utilized this opportunity to expand on its international service offerings
UACI has long served the region’s strong and vibrant community of entrepreneurs and innovators. This designation provides UACI with a unique value proposition to attract companies interested in international expansion directly to Southern Arizona. With the official endorsement from InBIA, international companies can be assured that these services meet or exceed best practices.
The UA Center for Innovation has had an established international program that supports early-stage companies, called Global Advantage. This program utilizes the strategic location in Tucson, Arizona paired with relatively low business startup costs and highly accessible major market connections to the west and east coast make UACI the ideal entry point into the U.S. market for international companies and startups. .
The International Business Innovation Association is a non-profit organization that provides education, global collaboration, mentorship and the best practices in business incubation. InBIA is the largest member-based entrepreneurial support network in the world.
The designation application criteria and process are very thorough. To receive entrance into this top-notch global network of Soft Landing-designated centers, candidates must be validated through a rigorous application and peer-reviewed process. Applicants must not only demonstrate that they provide companies with various services but show how they excel in these services which include: Introductions and networking opportunities to the local and regional business community; introductions and meetings with local government officials, cultural transitions support, domestic market research, identification and introductions to local and regional potential customers, press release and medial distribution, talent acquisition and hiring information, banking, insurance, and accounting sources, intellectual property protection and identifying funding strategies and sources.
“My 4-weeks program in the UACI provided necessary insights and filled the gaps in understanding how to build sales and operations processes for the B2B SaaS startup in the USA. This strong assistance was provided both for business relationship networking and specific issues like taxes, incorporation, and hiring. I sincerely appreciate the entire UACI team for all the valuable support provided and would definitely recommend UACI as a perfect landing point for the international startups,” stated Oksana Kononova, a startup founder from Ukraine. Kononova is the chief executive officer of LOOQME which provides media monitoring and analytics solutions for public relations and communications in small- and medium-sized business research agencies.
UACI Executive Director, Eric Smith shared his excitement about the designation by stating, “This designation officially provides an invitation to innovative companies around the globe to enter the U.S. market through Southern Arizona, utilizing UACI as a primary resource on their path to success.”
About the UA Center for Innovation
The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region and a mission to grow scalable science and technology startup ventures that fuel the Arizona economy. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 140 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done through providing access to people, programming and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. Startups go through a structured program that takes them through a continuum of education provided by mentors, advisors and community collaborators. UACI also provides access to service providers, industry cluster groups, interns and connections to potential customers and strategic partners. Entrepreneurs utilize various physical spaces that include offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms, a prototyping center, collaboration areas and the infrastructure to support these spaces. The UACI is part of Tech Parks Arizona, which brings together university, industry and community, creating “interactive ground” to advance technology innovation. Visit https://techparks.arizona.edu/UACenterForInnovation to learn more.