The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) welcomes Canadian-based Longan Vision to Tucson. The startup company, based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is establishing a U.S. office at the UA Tech Park, moving resources and Andrew Leaman, the Manager of Commercial Operations to Tucson to launch their product.
Longan Vision designs and builds advanced Augmented Reality technology for First Responders to use in dangerous environments enabling them to help save lives faster. The Longan Vision product, Fusion Vision System (FVS), is an Augmented Reality Smart Visor attachment for firefighter’s helmets. The FVS provides enhanced vision and information sharing abilities that will allow firefighters to see through smoke, locate victims, and find fire sources.
The startup participated in UACI through the Global Advantage Soft Landings Program in June of 2022. Longan Vision was part of a Canadian delegation that explored market potential by working with the UACI. Within two weeks, Andrew Leaman received mentorship and customized venture development support, connections with like-minded startups in the community and valuable discussions with local government officials and community leaders about the potential customers within the region.
“UACI has provided us with an amazing opportunity to help build our U.S. operations, to help the Fire Service of Arizona, and of course, help save lives,” says Longan Vision Manager of Commercial Operations, Andrew Leaman, “The network UACI has provided far exceeded our wildest dreams about what could happen here. This area, especially centered around Tucson, is full of entrepreneurial, supportive, kind people who want to see you succeed. That kindness and support was evident within the first few weeks of being here, and it is a major driving factor for us staying here.”
"Attracting foreign investment to diversify our economy is one of my priorities," said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. "Tucson is the place to be for Canadian entrepreneurs looking for innovation and quality of life. Our business incubator network and access to university talent, combined with our city's unique culture and history are just some of the reasons why Canada is Tucson's largest source of origin for Foreign-Owned Enterprises.”
Longan Vision is the fourth international company that moved to the U.S. after working with UACI. UACI has worked with 20 international companies and hundreds of international entrepreneurs through the Soft Landings program. UACI helped a total of nine business from outside Tucson establish their Southern Arizona business operations.
UACI has a long-established reputation as a proven entrepreneurship center that has demonstrated the capabilities necessary to provide resources and programming to international companies seeking new market entry in the US. “We invite companies from all over the globe to explore the market. International startups are often amazed by our community’s support and our incubator’s offerings,” says Eric Smith, Executive Director of UACI, “The Soft Landings Program provides all the necessary accommodations so international companies can smoothly enter the United States.”
UACI was recently honored by the International Business Innovation Association as Soft Landings Designee of the Year for the dedication exhibited in helping international startups with market expansion. UACI is quickly establishing itself as an innovative powerhouse in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, currently assisting 81 startups programmatically with four incubator outposts across Southern Arizona. UACI guides startup founders along a 27-point program roadmap providing individualized coaching at all stages of development.
The Soft Landings program is part of UACI’s established international program that supports early-stage companies, called Global Advantage. This program utilizes its strategic location in Tucson, Arizona paired with relatively low business startup costs and highly accessible major market connections to the west and east coast. Global Advantage is comprised of partners that foster international business opportunities and include:
- CAID Industries which specializes in diversification and being a vertically integrated solutions for engineering, custom fabrication, pressure vessels, large scale manufacturing, factory automation, precision machining, extensive mine technologies and services.
- Farhang & Medcoff Attorneys a prominent minority-owned, full-service law firm with locations in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
- Cushman & Wakefield |PICOR an employee owned and founded commercial real estate business with properties in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.
- Tech Parks Arizona which creates the place, environment, and interactive ground that generates, attracts and retains technology companies in alignment with the research, mission, and goals of the University of Arizona.
- Tetakawi which provides manufacturing and technology companies with turnkey solutions to establishing world-class manufacturing environments in Mexico.
- Tucson Electric Power which provides safe and reliable power to Tucson residents.