TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) was selected as the go-to organization to host an international company from Costa Rica. The company, TUNUK, is developing software to track bus ridership and other data for bus operators and municipalities. Tunuk Analytics Center utilizes state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to provide real-time data for revenue, expenses and operations to bus companies.
The virtual immersion program is a learning experience for the Costa Rican founders. UACI is connecting the founders with local leaders, transportation entities and key players that can provide insight into the transportation industry with a specific focus on to how business is done in the United States. The program is sponsored by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). InBIA selected UACI to host TUNUK because their proven track record in serving international startups, conformed by their recent Soft Landings designation. InBIA certifies only a handful of Soft Landings designees due to the high-level and multi-faceted accommodations needed to ensure that international companies experience a supportive foundation when exploring doing business in a foreign country.
UACI’s Soft Landings designation was awarded to UACI because of its long-standing work as a proven entrepreneurship center that has clearly demonstrated the capabilities necessary to provide resources and programming to international companies seeking market entry into the United States. 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 like TUNUK can be assured that these services meet or exceed best practices.
Tunuk is participating in a Costa Rican incubation program where selected businesses participate in a sponsored international immersion program. The company is currently exploring how they can take their business model to the U.S. market. is providing a two-week virtual immersion program with training, workshops, and various introductory meetings which started on Monday, February 22, 2021.
UACI Executive Director, Eric Smith, states, “Tunuk jumped right into all that we offer, capitalizing on connections within the university, industry, government, and community. But beyond the external connections, they greatly value the opportunity to connect with our startups and other like-minded entrepreneurs to discuss how to navigate the process of scaling and entering new markets.”
UACI has served the region for nearly two decades with support, contributing to Tucson’s strong and vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurs and innovators. UACI provides a unique value proposition to startups working alongside them through an enhanced program. This 27-point business development roadmap takes startup 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. The incubator helps entrepreneurs develop a business plan, identify target markets, refine their prototype, prepare a business pitch presentation, and so much more. Entrepreneurs also utilize various physical spaces that include offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms, a prototyping center, and collaboration areas which provide the necessary infrastructure to support scaling businesses.