Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Arizona incubator hosts international start-up founders as part of U.S. State Department program

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 30th, 2019

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is taking part in a U.S. State Department initiative to help support start-ups from overseas that want to take root in the U.S.

The UA incubator will host founders of four international start-up companies as part of the Global Innovation Through Science and Technology (GIST) program, which is bringing a total of 28 start-ups to 10 different sites in nine states.

The four-week program will provide the traveling start-ups with customized business development training, with a focus on cultural integration, U.S. customer discovery and market entry.

The start-ups include Contract One, a communication tech company from Belarus; FindBug, a digital security start-up from Kosovo; LOOQME, a media analytics company from Ukraine; and StringersHub, a company from Belarus that has developed an online platform for photojournalists to upload content for purchase by media outlets.

“What’s nice about this program is, these companies have established a track record of success in their home countries, and they’re ready to make U.S. market entry,” says UACI executive director Eric Smith. “We do hope that they would select Tucson as a place as a place to create a base of operations for a U.S. presence — it’s not required or guaranteed and it might take a while, but it would be a wonderful outcome.”

The State Department has partnered with VentureWell, a nonprofit focused on supporting student entrepreneurs, to cover most costs for the participating start-ups.


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