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Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Connect Sets Out on New Path

A group that helps technology and life science entrepreneurs build their businesses has decided to amicably cut its 20-year-old ties to the local university that started it all.

Representatives for Connect, an internationally recognized technology business accelerator founded by UC San Diego in 1985, announced Aug. 1 that the group has successfully transitioned to a new, independent governance structure that, its leaders say, should allow for more flexible and efficient management.

Those same leaders said they expect the new, independent Connect to be broadly representative of the many science and technology-based research institutions in San Diego, along with the next wave of emerging growth companies and the professionals who provide support for new venture creation.

“Since Connect was founded in 1985, the organization has played a key role in the growth and development of the technology sector in San Diego,” said co-founder David Hale. “The San Diego region is entering a new era of growth which will require innovative approaches and cross-disciplinary relationships to accelerate the creation of new companies and help in the development of growth companies, and Connect will be well-positioned for this next phase of regional evolution.”

Hale, who is president of CancerVax, is expected to be named chair of the new Connect board of directors. The bylaws adopted by the interim Connect board demand a representative board with representatives from university and research institutions, technology and life science business leaders, service providers, capital providers and industry associations.

“Connect will be even more focused on new company formation and we will be working closely with UCSD’s many innovative research programs while expanding our relationships with our region’s rich array of research institutions,” said Duane Roth, the group’s executive director.

Through its flagship programs, which include Springboard, the Financial Forum and the Most Innovative New Products competition, Connect has helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurial companies access more than $10 billion in funding from the venture and equity markets. Connect is entirely self-supported through membership dues, course fees and corporate underwriting for specific programs.

Jessica Long


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