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University of Arizona Center for Innovation awarded InBIA Soft Landings Designee of the Year

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is thrilled to announce its win as the Soft Landings Designee of the Year which was announced at the 36th International Conference on Business Incubation (ICBI36) hosted by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). 

ACI earned the InBIA Soft Landings designation in 2020 after proving its capability to meet the high-level and multi-faceted accommodations needed to ensure that international companies experience a supportive foundation when conducting business in a foreign country. UACI is one of only 50 entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) that have earned the coveted Soft-Landing’s designation. 

UACI won the award for providing a “soft landing” experience, meaning international businesses have the necessary accommodations for a smooth entry into the United States. UACI works with the businesses to introduce them to local community leaders, connect them to governmental officials, inform them of the resources and tools available through the University of Arizona, and go the extra mile to make their business a success.  

UACI is a leader in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, currently assisting 81 startups and housing four incubator outposts across Southern Arizona, with a new outpost opening soon at the UA Tech Park at The Bridges. “UACI serves startups from all over the globe. Whether you’re from our backyard or across an ocean UACI is here to empower your business and help you scale up,” says UACI Executive Director, Eric Smith, “We’ve been serving a strong vibrant community of innovators for a long time now, and we are eager to continue sharing knowledge and supporting startups wherever their location.” 

The UACI Soft Landings Program has already impacted hundreds of global entrepreneurs and served 20 international startups. Since 2019, four international companies who have worked with UACI have moved to Southern Arizona or setup a United States subsidiary in the region. 

The ICBI36 conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, brought together entrepreneur support professionals from across the world to connect, explore new strategies, share best practices, learn about current trends, gather resources, and celebrate successes with awards. Peer-led sessions focused on relevant topics, expert keynotes shared inspiring insights, and local ecosystem leaders showcased their programs at the conference. UACI was an active contributor to the conference serving on three panel sessions, attending executive board meetings, and moderating the keynote. 



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. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 200 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done by 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. Tech Parks Arizona directs the UA Tech Park, the UA Tech Park at The Bridges and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation. 


About the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)  

InBIA is a global nonprofit with over 1,200 members that lead entrepreneurship centers in over 30 countries. For over 35 years, InBIA has provided industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning and the sharing of innovative ideas for entrepreneurs across the globe. InBIA is the premier organization for business incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and other entrepreneurship centers. 


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