A Signature Path to Success: University of Arizona Center for Innovation’s 27-Point Roadmap Program

By Romi Carrell Wittman

Launching a startup business is no different than embarking on a road trip. Without a map – and resources to help you along the way – you won’t get very far.

Crafting a clear plan – a roadmap – for startups to find their footing was the impetus behind the creation of University of Arizona Center for Innovation’s 27-point roadmap of customized business support. The map assists entrepreneurs with everything from problem identification to writing a business plan to acquiring funding and pitch preparation. 

UACI developed the comprehensive roadmap through an exhaustive process of benchmarking  all the best incubators in the world. The result is a program that improves how UACI serves its clients, by outlining a continuum of activities and major buckets of work needed for success.

The brilliance of UACI’s 27-point roadmap lies in its simplicity and its ability to track progress. As an alternative to running cohorts, when companies join the incubator network, they take a baseline assessment, which offers keen insight into where they are along the startup journey. 

Thus, UACI can adjust to the unique needs of its startups. “Currently, we have 75 companies and they’re all over the map, literally. The roadmap provides the tactical direction for us to meet them exactly where they’re at,” said UACI executive director Eric Smith. 

Entrepreneurs typically work through the UACI program over the course of two years.

In addition to its signature roadmap, UACI offers several programs to meet the needs of different types of startups, including educational webinar series such as Noontime Knowledge and  Sponsored Launch programs which provide scholarships for companies through a competitive process with a sponsor organization, internship programs where paid university students can work side-by-side with UACI entrepreneurs, and the Global Advantage and Soft Landings programs for international companies seeking U.S. market expansion. 

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