CONNECT is a regional program that catalyzes the creation of innovative technology and life sciences products in San Diego County by linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. Since 1985, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies, and has also attracted more than $10B in investment capitol. The leadership of CONNECT attributes its success to the unique culture of collaboration between industry, capital sources, professional service providers and research organizations that CONNECT has sought to foster in the region.
CONNECT was originally founded as a part of the University of California (UC) San Diego in the mid-80s. At that time traditional industries in the region were on the decline, the attraction of companies to the San Diego region was very difficult and region leaders were searching for a path to economic renewal and sustained growth. UC San Diego, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and private sector business leaders recognized in this an opportunity for CONNECT to transform San Diego’s growing research capabilities into commercially viable products and businesses that would ultimately increase the prosperity of the region.
By leveraging the various assets within the region, CONNECT focuses its efforts on accelerating the commercialization of new technology and life sciences products. While that mission has stayed relatively true since its initial creation, the organization and its program offerings have continued to evolve in response to the changes in the region’s economic climate.
CONNECT is widely regarded as one of the world's most successful organizations linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of innovative products. The program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world – most recently in New York City, Bogotá, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. CONNECT has recently been recognized by Inc., Time and Entrepreneur magazines and received the 2010 Innovation in Economic Development Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for creation of Regional Innovation Clusters. CONNECT also manages the San Diego Innovation Hub (iHub) designated by the state of California Governor’s Office of Economic Development in 2010.
VP of Public Policy