Helping to create and scale great innovation companies through access to the resources that entrepreneurs & growing companies need most – People, Capital, & Technology

Our History

CONNECT was founded by UC San Diego as an internal department when the City of San Diego was at a crossroads. Regional leaders were searching for a path to economic renewal and sustained growth; innovative high-tech and life sciences companies, such as Cubic Corporation, Linkabit (predecessor of Qualcomm), SAIC, and Hybritech, were in the early stages of development; and the Torrey Pines Mesa was a growing hotbed of research. Amidst this convergence of factors UC San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Regional EDC and private sector businesses, recognized this as an opportunity to establish an organization to transform San Diego’s growing research capabilities into an economic driver to increase the prosperity of the region. Thus, in 1985-1986, CONNECT, one of the nation’s first start-up accelerators, was born.

In 2005, to better serve the vast and growing research community, CONNECT spun-out of UC San Diego and to form a bifurcated organization - the CONNECT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, and the CONNECT Association, a 501(c)(6) trade organization. As a result, CONNECT has broadened its mandate to include public advocacy work on behalf of entrepreneurs and innovators through the Association.

Core to CONNECT’s growth and development is a culture of collaboration, fostered by CONNECT’s first director, Bill Otterson. Over the last thirty years CONNECT has assisted developing groups around specific innovation clusters and, as they become large and deep enough, spun them out as stand-alone organizations. CONNECT has assisted in fostering many organizations in San Diego over the years including BIOCOM, The San Diego Telecom Council (known today as EvoNexus/CommNexus), Athena San Diego, CleanTECH San Diego, The Wireless Life Sciences Alliance, and San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI). CONNECT has also been recognized as a breakthrough organization by The New York Times, as well as Inc., Time, and Entrepreneur magazines.


CONNECT has remained central to the growth of the innovation economy in San Diego since its inception 30 years ago. CONNECT lives out its mission, continuing our commitment to the success of the technology and life sciences companies, through CONNECT 3.0. CONNECT 3.0 is the next iteration of programming to support innovation thriving companies throughout entire lifecycle. Our commitment to growing the San Diego innovation economy is steadfast because we’re not just changing San Diego, we’re changing the world.

Scripps Metabolic Clinic Founded

Inspired by the discovery of insulin, Scripps Metabolic Clinic (The Scripps Research Institute’s predecessor) founded near the current TSRI site in the La Jolla.
  • Scripps Metabolic Clinic Founded

    Inspired by the discovery of insulin, Scripps Metabolic Clinic (The Scripps Research Institute’s predecessor) founded near the current TSRI site in the La Jolla.
  • Prudden-San Diego Airplane Company Founded

    George H. Prudden founds, today known as Solar Turbines. The company initially designed, manufactured and sold airplanes
  • Solar Aircraft Company Focuses on Aircraft Components

    The Great Depression forces Solar Aircraft Company, today’s Solar Turbines, to re-focus its efforts into manufacturing aircraft components for other manufacturers.
  • Navy’s First Lab Established on the West Coast

    The Secretary of the Navy establishes the first Navy laboratory on the West Coast - the U.S. Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory – for R&D in communications and radio propagation.
  • HR Electronics Founded

    Walter Zable founds HR Electronics, later renamed Cubic Corporation in 1951, in his garage in Point Loma on a $5,000 investment.
  • Growing Commitment to Biomedical Research in San Diego

    The Scripps Metabolic Clinic renamed Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation to reflect its broader focus and management's renewed commitment to biomedical research.
  • Famed Researchers Join Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation

    Harvard biochemist A. Baird Hastings joins Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, followed by immunologist Frank J. Dixon.
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies Founded

    An independent, non-profit, scientific research institute, founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine; with Jacob Bronowski and Francis Crick.
  • UC San Diego Founded

    The campus is realized through state appropriations, a donation from General Dynamics and a gift from the city of 63 acres of pueblo land northeast of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
  • International Harvester Purchases Solar Aircraft

    Solar Aircraft purchased by International Harvester Company becoming the Solar Division of International Harvester
  • Cubic Launches SECOR Satellite

    First successful launch of Cubic’s SECOR satellite, the geodetic satellite surveying system, a predecessor to Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
  • Irwin Jacobs Arrives in San Diego

    Irwin Jacobs serves as Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego.
  • UC San Diego Extension Becomes Independent

    UC Extension in San Diego becomes an independent campus from UC San Diego.
  • Cubic Develops First Electronic Scoreboard

    The nation’s first electronic scoreboard, developed by Cubic Corporation, installed in San Diego Stadium (now Qualcomm Stadium).
  • LINKABIT Founded

    Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi co-found LINKABIT Corporation, which leads to the creation of more than 75 direct and indirect spin-offs that form a technology cluster in San Diego.
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Founded

    Robert Beyster founds Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) with a small group of scientists.
  • Cubic Enters Transportation Industry

    Cubic establishes presence in the mass transportation market with the acquisition of Western Data Products of Los Angeles. Contracts with San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, the Washington, D.C. Metro, and Pennsylvania’s Port Authority Transit Company followed.
  • Solar Focuses on Industrial Turbines

    In 1973 the Solar Division of International Harvester exited the aerospace industry to focus solely on industrial turbines
  • La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation Founded

    William H. Fishman, M.D., Ph.D. and his wife Lillian found the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, today’s Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, focusing on developmental biology in conjunction with oncology to better understand cancer.
  • Ivor Royston Arrives in San Diego

    Ivor Royston joins UC San Diego’s Division of Hematology & Oncology as Assistant Professor of Medicine.
  • The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic Established

    Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation operations assumed the name of The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic
  • Naval Ocean Systems Center Established

    Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (NELC) and the Naval Undersea Center (NUC) consolidate to form the Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC)
  • SAIC Begins Clean Tech Operations

    SAIC begins working to develop new technologies to convert fuels to more usable forms, and to utilize fuels more efficiently and cleanly.
  • Hybritech Founded

    Royston co-founds Hybritech, San Diego’s first biotechnology company.
  • SAIC Works on Love Canal

    SAIC plays an instrumental role after the discovery of massive environmental contamination at Love Canal in New York State.
  • Capterpillar Tractor Co. Purchases Solar Turbines

    Solar Turbines Incorporated becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Tractor Co.
  • SAIC Works on Military Projects

    SAIC supplies engineering and analytical work on the Trident Submarine Sea-Launched Missile System, the MX Land-Based Missile System, the B-1 Bomber, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Program.
  • CONNECT Founded

    UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson and Mary Walshok, Dean of University Extension co-found CONNECT in partnership with San Diego’s business leadership,
  • Qualcomm Founded

    Jacobs, Viterbi and five alumni from LINKABIT co-found Qualcomm Incorporated.
  • Bill Otterson Named First Director of CONNECT

    UC San Diego hires Bill Otterson as Founding Director of CONNECT.
  • Research Institute of Scripps Clinic Expands

    Richard Lerner, appointed Director of The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic and expands the institute, both in size and reputation.
  • IDEC Pharmaceuticals Founded

    Ivor Royston co-founds IDEC Pharmaceuticals, now Biogen Idec, and hires William Rastetter to serve as President & CEO.
  • ViaSat Founded

    ViaSat co-founded by Mark Dankberg, Mark Miller, and Steve Hart
  • Cymer Founded

    Cymer founded by Dr. Robert Akins and Dr. Richard Sandstrom, who met in the mid-1970s in a lab class at the UC, San Diego.
  • Hybritech Sells to Eli Lilly

    Hybritech sells to Eli Lilly for $480M.
  • Neal and Linden Blue Purchase GA Technologies

    Neal and Linden Blue acquire GA Technologies, now General Atomics, for more than $50M.
  • Pyxis Founded

    Ron Taylor co-founds Pyxis with investor Tim Wollaeger.
  • CONNECT Publishes First Member Directory

    CONNECT publishes first membership directory, the first cataloging of San Diego’s innovation companies.
  • Qualcomm Introduces OmniTRACS

    Qualcomm introduces OmniTRACS satellite-based mobile communication solutions which today is the largest satellite-based commercial mobile system for the transportation industry.
  • 1988 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards Established

    CONNECT launches the Most Innovative New Product Awards to recognize groundbreaking innovation being developed in San Diego. Mycogen Corporation, Athens Corporation, and Cymer Laser Technologies win awards.
  • ResMed Founded

    Founder Peter Farrell launches ResMed seeking to expand the general public’s access to CPAP treatment.
  • The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic launches a graduate program

    The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic launches a graduate program, later renamed the Kellogg School of Science and Technology.
  • 1989 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Pyxis Corporation, Quantum Materials and ComStream Corporation win CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards.
  • 1990 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Stratagene, Biomagnetic, and HNC, Inc. win CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards.
  • The Scripps Research Institute Established

    The research division of The Research Institute of Scripps Clinic separated from Scripps Clinic, becoming an independent nonprofit organization under the name of The Scripps Research Institute.
  • 1991 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Stratagene, American Innovision, Proxima Corporation, HNC, Inc., and WD-40 win CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards.
  • General Atomics Established

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is formed.
  • Pyxis IPOs

    Pyxis issues its initial public offering.
  • 1992 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Biosite Diagnostics, VORAD Safety Systems, Applied Digital Access, Simpact Associates, Inc., and General Atomics win awards.
  • First Innovation Newsletter Launched in San Diego

    Otterson starts ‘The Bill Otterson Letter’, the original San Diego innovation newsletter, distributed weekly by fax.
  • CONNECT Springboard Accelerator Program Launched

    CONNECT launches Springboard, one of the nation’s first accelerator programs, to mentor entrepreneurs through the start-up process.
  • Forward Ventures Founded

    Ivor Royston co-founds Forward Ventures, a leading life sciences venture capital firm.
  • 1993 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Gamma-Metrics Inc., Qualcomm, Inc., and HNC, Inc. win awards.
  • General Atomics Pioneers UAVs

    The Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) makes its first flight over Bosnia during the NATO intervention.
  • Sequenom Founded

    Sequenom was founded by Dr. Hubert Köster.
  • CONNECT Launches Innovation Website

    CONNECT, an early adopter of the internet, launches CONNECTNET, an online database of investors and technology resources.
  • CONNECT Works on FDA Legislation Reform

    To impact FDA reform legislation, CONNECT completes a study with Price Waterhouse exploring ways to streamline the drug approval process and presents the findings to the House Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation.
  • CONNECT Works on Crossborder Relations and NAFTA

    Crossborder CONNECT is launched to foster cross border regional economic development and supports the passage of NAFTA.
  • 1994 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Malek, Inc., Strain Monitor Systems, Inc., Quantum Magnetics, Science Applications International Corporation, and Tudor Publishing win awards.
  • SAIC Grows Significantly

    SAIC begins operating the National Cancer Institute’s largest research center and acquires nine companies.
  • 1995 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Gensia, Inc., San Diego Gas & Electric, Azron, TriTeal Corporation, and Pacific Communications Sciences, Inc. win awards.
  • The Burnham Institute Established

    La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation was renamed The Burnham Institute in honor of San Diego businessman Malin Burnham’s significant financial support.
  • ViaSat IPOs

    ViaSat issues its initial public offering.
  • Cardinal Health Acquires Pyxis

    Cardinal Health acquires Pyxis in a stock swap valued at $867 million.
  • Otterson wins National Entrepreneur of the Year from E&Y

    Bill Otterson wins Ernst & Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award.
  • CONNECT Begins Managing TCA/Band of Angels

    CONNECT takes on program administration of the newly merged Band of Angels and Tech Coast Angels.
  • 1996 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Gryphon Software Corporation, SCS Corporation, ANDATACO, Mycogen Corporation, and Aptex Software, Inc. win awards.
  • IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ RITUXAN Gains FDA Approval

    FDA approves IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ RITUXAN for the treatment of certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) - the first monoclonal antibody to be approved as a cancer therapeutic.
  • NuVasive Founded

    NuVasive, Inc., a medical device company focused on the design, development, and marketing of products for the surgical treatment of spine disorders, is founded in San Diego.
  • 1997 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    ROKENBOK Toy Company, XXsys Technologies, Inc., XLNT, Inc., PersonaLogic, Inc., Advanced Tissue Sciences, Wright Strategies, Inc., Peregrine Semiconductor, and Agouron Pharmaceuticals win awards.
  • Illumina Founded

    Illumina founded by David Walt, Larry Bock, John Stuelpnagel, Anthony Czarnik, and Mark Chee.
  • Spectrum Aeronautical Founded

    Linden Blue founds Spectrum Aeronautical to bring down the cost of private jet travel by taking advantage of new lightweight composites and automated fabrication
  • CONNECT Founds CommNexus/EvoNexus

    CONNECT assembles a leadership team to launch San Diego Telecom Council, known today as CommNexus/EvoNexus
  • 1998 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Select Tee Times, NEXTEC Applications, Inc., Maxwell Technologies, ATCOM/INFO, Biosite Diagnostics, Inc., IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Orincon Technologies, Inc., and USA Talks.com, Inc. win awards.
  • CONNECT Director, Bill Otterson, dies – November 24, 1999

    William W. Otterson, a successful entrepreneur who used his business experience to benefit hundreds of small start-up companies and tackle large public policy issues dies of cancer. He was 69.
  • 1999 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    RaceGate.com, Ontro, Inc., University of California, Riverside, Sandpiper Networks, EyeDx, Inc., Prohold Medical Technologies, Inc., HNC Software, and OmniVoice Technologies win awards.
  • Sequenom IPOs

    Sequenom issues its IPO.
  • San Diego Selected as Model for Innovation Clusters

    Harvard Professor Michael Porter focuses on San Diego for the U.S. Council on Competitiveness study on “Clusters of Innovation” and credits San Diego for dramatically outpacing the nation in job creation, productivity, exports, and VC funding.
  • 2000 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Digirad, ChemNavigator, Inetcam, I-Witness, ISE Research, ThunderVolt, Inc., and Ensemble Communications win awards.
  • Illumina IPOs

    Illumina completes its initial public offering raising over $100 million.
  • CONNECT Hires New Director

    UC San Diego hires Fred Cutler as Director of CONNECT.
  • Cubic’s Smart Card Technology Implemented in Washington D.C.

    Cubic’s Smart Card technology is first implemented by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
  • Qualcomm launches BREW-Enabled headsets

    Qualcomm launches BREW-Enabled headsets, a breakthrough in the mobile industry allowing people to download wireless applications over the air.
  • 2001 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Easy Wireless, Nurlogic Design, MagneVu, VelociGen, and AirFiber win awards. Inaugural William W. Otterson Award presented to Qualcomm for Code Digital Multiple Access (CDMA).
  • General Atomics Predator Drone Called into Service

    The Predator Drones fire missiles in Afghanistan following September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
  • 2002 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Aeronex, Inc., Akonix Systems, Inc., Ethertronics, Gen-Probe Inc., American Technology Corporation, Perlan Therapeutics, Inc., and Maxima Corporation win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to IDEC Pharmaceuticals for Rituxan and Gray Cary Award for Technology Innovation goes to Tyler Orion.
  • IDEC Pharmaceuticals Merges with Biogen

    William Rastetter fosters successful merger of IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Biogen, creating the third largest biotechnology company in the world, Biogen Idec.
  • CONNECT Founds Global CONNECT

    Global CONNECT is formed due to growing interest in the CONNECT model from other states and countries resulting in the formation of Cross Border CONNECT, CONNECT Sweden, Scotland, Temecula, and Sacramento.
  • 2003 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Tarari, Inc., Preventsys, Inc., Zyray Wireless, INNERCOOL therapies, Palomar Technologies, and Maxim Pharmaceuticals win awards. Cary Award for Technology Innovation goes to Marco Thompson.
  • 2004 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    TargeGen, Inc., LIFE-SAFER, INC., Tarari, Inc., BidShift, Inc., Ophthonix, Inc., and Entropic Communications win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Agouron Pharmaceuticals for Viracept, Gray Cary Award for Technology Innovation goes to Jim Berglund.
  • CONNECT Hires New CEO, Duane Roth

    Duane Roth named CEO of CONNECT.
  • CONNECT Becomes Independent from UC San Diego

    To better serve the vast and growing research community, CONNECT spins-out of UC San Diego to form the CONNECT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, and the CONNECT Association, a 501(c)(6) trade organization.

    CONNECT co-founds Wireless Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) with BIOCOM.
  • CONNECT Launches Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    CONNECT launches the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Awards, with leadership from Malin Burnham. Irwin Jacobs is selected as the first inductee.
  • 2005 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Arena Pharmaceuticals, Freescale, DigiVision, Inc., AwarePoint Corporation, Yulex Corporation, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Pixon LLC, and Veoh Networks, Inc. win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to HNC Software, Inc. for Falcon, Gray Cary Award for Technology Innovation goes to Bill Carpenter.
  • CONNECT Takes in MIT Enterprise Forum

    CONNECT takes on program administration of MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego.
  • 2006 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Walter Zable and Ivor Royston inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • J. Craig Venter Institute Opens

    The J. Craig Venter Institute is opens in La Jolla to become a world leader in genomic research.
  • Illumina Acquires Solexa

    Illumina acquires Solexa, the developer of a genomic-scale sequencing technology, creating the ultimate tools set for genetic analysis.
  • 2006 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    NovaCardia, Airgain, Inc., M Ship Co., LLC, Biomatrica, Inc., Dexcom, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Verimatrix, Inc., and Softmax win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Hybritech for Tandem PSA Assay, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science goes to David Hale, Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology goes to Peter Preuss.
  • SAIC Goes Public

    SAIC raises over $1 billion with initial public offering.
  • 2007 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    William Rastetter inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • CONNECT Innovation Report Published

    CONNECT Innovation Report provides data & analysis of the San Diego regional innovation economy.
  • CONNECT Founds CleanTECH San Diego

    CONNECT launches CleanTECH San Diego with approval of the Board.
  • 2007 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Advanced Transit Dynamics, Inc., Luxtera, Senomyx, Inc., RegeneMed, Inc., Artes Medical, Seacoast Science, and AIRSIS, Inc. win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Cymer for DUV Lithography Lightsource, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science goes to Ted Roth, Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology goes to Mary Walshok.
  • CONNECT Springboard Impact Report Launched

    CONNECT launches first Springboard Impact Report, to track the success of Springboard program graduates over time.
  • Qualcomm Technology Enables Android Mobile Phones

    Qualcomm technology enables the first mobile phone based on the Android platform.
  • 2008 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Robert Beyster inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • SPAWAR Established

    The Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC) was assigned its current name, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific).
  • CONNECT Featured in New York Times

    CONNECT featured in The New York Times “Helping New Technologies Grow Into Businesses, the San Diego Way,” September 18, 2008.
  • 2008 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Firewire Surfboards, Avaak, General Atomics, Reaction Design, Semtek Corporation, Silicon Kinetics, Ablation Frontiers, Photometria, and Mushroom Networks win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Pyxis for MedStation, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science goes to Joe Panetta, Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology goes to Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia.
  • 2009 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Neal and Linden Blue inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • Cubic Furnishes GPS to Boeing

    Cubic furnishes GPS-based airborne pods to The Boeing Company for use in flight-testing guidance kits.
  • Receptos Founded

    Receptos, Inc. founded and in-licenses RPC1063 patents from The Scripps Research Institute
  • CareFusion Spun Off from Cardinal Health

    Cardinal Health completed the spin-off of its clinical and medical products and nuclear businesses into an independent medical technology company called CareFusion.
  • CONNECT Creates San Diego Sport Innovators

    CONNECT Board approves creation of San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI).
  • CONNECT Launches La Jolla Research & Innovation Summit

    La Jolla Research & Innovation Summit is launched in partnership with SDVG, CommNexus, BIOCOM, CleanTECH San Diego and San Diego Software Industry Council.
  • ecoATM Graduates CONNECT Springboard

    ecoATM Graduates from the CONNECT Springboard accelerator program.
  • 2009 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Neptunic Technologies, Intevac Photonics, Inc., ecoATM, Nextivity, Cymer, Naviscan, SynergEyes, and Verance Corporation win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. for The Predator, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science goes to Catherine Mackey, Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology goes to Todd Gutschow.
  • Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute

    The Burnham Institute renamed Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute in recognition of Denny Sanford’s contribution to advancing research at the Institute.
  • CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Peter Preuss inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • US Department of Commerce Recognizes CONNECT

    CONNECT receives Innovation in Economic Development Award from US Department of Commerce.
  • City of San Diego Creates CONNECT Day

    City of San Diego proclaims June 20, 2010 as CONNECT 25th Anniversary Day.
  • CONNECT Opens Washington D.C. Office

    CONNECT opens Washington D.C. office for greater presence on the national policy stage.
  • CONNECT Kicks-Off STEM Initiative

    The Biogen Idec Young Innovators Program is created by CONNECT to inspire middle and high school students to pursue life sciences careers.
  • 2010 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    ElliptiGO, Trex Aviation Systems, Multispark, LLC, PCN Technology, Inc., AgigA Tech, Inc., NeuroVigil, Inc., Zogenix, Inc., and Legend3D win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Intuit for TurboTax ®, Distinguished Contribution for Life Science goes to Julia Brown, Distinguished Contribution for Technology goes to Bill Strauss.
  • Bill Walton Named Executive Chairman of SDSI

    NBA Legend Bill Walton becomes Executive Chairman of CONNECT SD Sport Innovators.
  • CONNECT Hosts Wireless Health/EMR Event with SPAWAR

    SPAWAR and CONNECT partner to hold Wireless Health and EMR Conference track at AFCEA West.
  • 2011 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Gene Ray inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • 2011 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Hydroflex™, Langford & Carmichael, Inc., Genomatica, Ethertronics, Memjet, Life Technologies™, Hypnoz Therapeutic Devices, Inc., and MOGL win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Gen-Probe for PROCLEIX® Blood Screening Assay, Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation goes to Rodney Lanthorne, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science Innovation goes to Jim Schaeffer.
  • 2012 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Ted Greene inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • CONNECT Launches Rockstars of Innovation

    La Jolla Research & Innovation Summit is re-launched as Rock Stars of Innovation showcasing cutting-edge discoveries and ground-breaking innovations originating from San Diego’s acclaimed research institutions, renowned corporations and leading start-ups.
  • 2012 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    PEAR Sports, Cubic Defense Application, Atlantis Technologies, TrellisWare Technologies, Logic PD, Life Technologies™, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LIA: Liberated Intelligence & Analysis, and Independa, Inc. win awards. Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation goes to Greg Lucier, Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science Innovation goes to Malin Burnham.
  • 2013 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Ron Taylor inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame
  • CONNECT Springboard Grad ecoATM Acquired for $350M

    Outerwall, formerly Coinstar, buys ecoATM for $350M in cash to expand into device recycling kiosks
  • CONNECT Springboard Grad Active Network Acquired by Vista for $1.05 Billion

    Active Network Inc., which manages online registration for marathons, business conferences and other events, agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners $1.05 billion in cash.
  • CONNECT Loses CEO, Roth

    CONNECT CEO, Duane Roth dies following a tragic bicycle accident while training for a charity ride for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Roth brought years of experience as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry to his role of CEO of CONNECT. He was a highly respected leader and effective spokesman for San Diego’s innovation economy.
  • 2013 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    Cubic Defense Applications, iboss Network Security, Nextivity, Inc., Life Technologies, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., OneHealth Solutions, Inc., Emotient, Hookit, and Achates Power, Inc. win awards. William W. Otterson Award goes to Life Technologies for breakthroughs in genomics, both Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Awards in Life Sciences and Technology Innovation go to Duane Roth.
  • CONNECT Names New Chief Executive Officer, Greg McKee

    After a national search, Greg McKee is hired as Chief Executive Officer of CONNECT.
  • Springboard Graduate Companies Exceed $1B in Funding

    Springboard graduates exceed $1 Billion in overall funding raised and exit value and 4,000 jobs created since 2005.
  • 2014 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Awards

    Peter C. Farrell inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • 2014 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards

    CyberFlow Analytics, Cubic Transportation Systems, Organovo, Inc., Rock My World, Topera, Inc., CloudBeds, Electrozyme LLC, and Solatube International. Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award in Life Sciences goes to T. Denny Sanford, Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award in Technology Innovation goes to Robert S. Sullivan
  • BD Acquires CareFusion for $12.2B

    BD announced its acquisition of CareFusion for $12.2 billion, to create a global leader in medication management and patient safety solutions. The acquisition was completed in 2015.
  • Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute Established

    Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute renamed Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute to include recognition for Conrad Prebys’s significant financial support
  • Receptos Purchased by Celgene for $7.2B

    Receptos Inc., one of San Diego’s most promising biotech companies, bought by Celgene Corp. for $7.2 billion.
  • 2015 CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    Andrew Viterbi inducted into CONNECT’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • CONNECT Moves to New Office

    CONNECT moves to new office location in UTC to better serve innovation companies in San Diego.

Our Team

CONNECT’s team is a diverse set of accomplished professionals that serves San Diego’s innovation economy day in and day out.

Our Boards

Our two Boards of Directors - one leading the Foundation, our 501(c)(3), and the other serving the Association, our 501(c)(6) - are the best advocates for of San Diego’s innovation economy. Made up of venture capitalists, scientists, research institutions, entrepreneurs, CEOs and strategic advisors; these representatives work tirelessly to support the technology and life science companies of San Diego.

Greg McKee
President & CEO
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Ginny Merrifield
Chief Operating Officer
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Nate Turnbull
Vice President, Public Policy
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Steve Hoey
Senior Director, Springboard and Innovation Research
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Shawn Richardson
Senior Director, CONNECTMatch Programs
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Claire Bula, Esq.
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
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Elizabeth B. Hobson, CMP
Senior Director, Programs & Events
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Brittany Russell
Senior Director, Business Development
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H. Puentes
Springboard Evangelist
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Petra Stegmann, Ph.D.
Program Director, Springboard
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Laura Jackson
Program Manager, Programs & Events
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Rebecca Wright
Program Manager
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Anindita Sarkar, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Springboard
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Isa Pacheco
Executive Assistant to the President & CEO and Board Liaison
Mary Reyes
Administrative Assistant

Executive Committee of the Board

Jordan Becker
BAE Systems
Dave Bialis
Cox Communications
Karen Dow
HUYA Bioscience International
David Down
John Dunn
Sanford Ehrlich
San Diego State University
David Hale
Hale BioPharma Ventures LLC
Mike Hird
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Phil Jelsma
Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP
Stath Karras
USD Burnham-Moores Real Estate Center
Mike Kinkelaar
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP
Alex Kunczynski
D&K Engineering
Paul Laikind
ViaCyte Inc
James Mackay
Ardea Biosciences
Tyler Orion
Don Rosenberg, Esq.
Tim Scott
Bob Sullivan
UC San Diego, Rady School of Management
Mary Walshok
UC San Diego Extension
Scott Wolfe
Latham & Watkins

Board of Directors

Richard C. Atkinson
University of California
Phil Blair
Rick Bregman
Bank of America
David Brenner
UC San Diego
Julia Brown
UC San Diego Board of Trustees
Sandra Brown
UC San Diego
Mike Brown
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C.
Barbara Bry
Blackbird Ventures
Malin Burnham
Cushman and Wakefield
Mark Cafferty
San Diego Regional EDC
Jerry Caulder
Nishan de Silva
Poseida Therapeutics
Ray Dittamore
Mick Farrell
Doug Farry
Employee Loan Solutions
Stan Fleming
Forward Ventures
Scot Ginsburg
Hughes Marino
David Hall
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Tim Holl
Ernst & Young
Greg Horowitt
T2 Ventures
Anthony Insogna
Jones Day
Irwin Jacobs
Kim Kamdar, Ph.D.
Domain Associates
Katherine Kantardjieff
CSU San Marcos
Steven Keller
Knowledge Made Solutions, Inc.
Lou Kelly
SD Regional Innovation Cluster
Pradeep Kholsa
UC San Diego
Jim Kordas
Union Bank
Pablo Koziner
Solar Turbines
Mike Krupp
Bill Kuhnert
bkm OfficeWorks
Rob McCray
Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance
Tyson McDowell
Avadyne Health
Greg McKee
Diego Miralles M.D.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS
Rory Moore
Glen Mosier
UBS Financial Services Inc.
James Mullen
Morrison Foerster
Joe Panetta
BIOCOM San Diego
Cub Parker
Financial Intermediation
Prasanna Parthasarathy
Dan Pegg
Qualcomm & San Diego Regional EDC
Peter Preuss
ISSCO & Preuss Foundation
Gwen Rosenberg
Jerry Sanders
SD Regional Chamber of Commerce
Bhasker Shetty
Kirt Shuldberg
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve
Abby Silverman Weiss
Abby Silverman Weiss
Ken Slaght
San Diego Cyber Center Of Excellence
Larry Smarr
UC San Diego
Ryan Spencer
Chris Steinhardt
Knobbe Martens
David Titus
Cooley LLP
Bill Walton
SD Sport Innovators
Jim Waring
CLEAN Tech San Diego
Marty Waters
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
David Webb
Scripps, Department of Molecular Biology
Ken Weixel
Steve Welter
San Diego State University
Steve Williams
Sentre Partners
Buzz Woolley
Girard Capital/ Girard Foundation

Association Board

Julia Brown
UC San Diego Board of Trustees
Karen Dow
HUYA Bioscience International
David Hall
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Greg Horowitt
T2 Ventures
Greg McKee
Tyler Orion
Warren Ruis
Sempra Energy
Bill Walton

Career Opportunities

CONNECT is always looking for great additions to our team! If you want to join a fast-paced organization that works at the heart of innovation in technology and life sciences in San Diego, submit your resume to careers@connect.org.

Marketing Manager

Position Summary

The Marketing Manager is responsible for creating and delivering marketing ideas, activities, and materials to support the growth and expansion of CONNECT. The Marketing Manager reports to the Director of Marketing and Communication and works in partnership with the Graphic Designer to develop marketing strategies, materials, messaging, and outreach to support the organization's mission, to create and scale great innovation companies. The Marketing Manager will also work closely with the executive team, programs, business development, events, and public policy departments. The Marketing Manager will be responsible for researching, writing, and producing the thrice-weekly newsletter, managing CONNECT’s email marketing campaigns, communications, authoring pieces for web and print, writing press releases and coordinating press events, updating and analyzing CONNECT’s website and social media accounts, working with CONNECT member companies and Springboard graduates, creating promotional materials for use in business development efforts, and providing general support for the marketing team at CONNECT. 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Optimize marketing materials for digital and print mediums as the author and editor
  • Ensure that messages are supportive of and consistent with marketing strategies and in support of CONNECT’s mission.
  • Research, write, produce, and send the CONNECT newsletter.
  • Create content for delivery via digital platforms – website, blog, email marketing, and social media.
  • Coordinate and deliver email campaigns for all CONNECT events and programs, in conjunction with Program Managers.
  • Manage updates to the CONNECT website.
  • Work with marketing team and business development team to create clear, effective marketing materials for membership and sponsorship.
  • Coordinate flow of information and communication, both internally and externally, and disseminate it according to plan/strategy.
  • Develop and manage a workflow process for communication of CONNECT events and programs. Work with events and program teams to optimize marketing plans for each CONNECT endeavor and ensure those plans are executed in a timely manner.
  • Work with the marketing team, and other CONNECT employees as needed, on public relations initiatives.
  • Develop marketing communications campaigns for specific initiatives, business development efforts, programs, and events.
  • Conduct market research in order to best serve our clientele and provide messaging and content directed for the innovation and start-up audience.
  • Assist with the creation of thought leadership materials including web content, blogs, case studies, white papers, executive bios, newsletter content, and speaking proposals as needed.
  • Write and deliver press releases and media relations content.
  • Identify, develop, and execute communications strategy for key media contacts and customer references. Conduct targeted media outreach for specific projects.
  • Work with external vendors and service providers.
  • Improve communication systems and efficiencies within the company.
  • Manage video content.
  • Create and distribute customer surveys.

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities

  • Team-oriented: focused on achieving department and overall organizational goals.
  • Positive, problem-solving attitude.
  • Strong organizational skills and able to manage priorities.
  • Capacity to manage multiple projects efficiently, change course as needed, and meet deadlines.
  • Coordinate with various team members and follow through with multiple clients and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Ability to work independently, take on leadership roles and responsibility for projects.
  • Must have strong analytical skills and the ability to gather, track, and understand technical information and create action items based on those findings.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including professionalism and integrity.
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing to internal and external customers and articulate in a clear, efficient, and compelling manner is a necessity.
  • Strong writing skills, including knowledge of AP style and grammar and ability to write in different voices as needed.
  • Ability to analyze marketing intelligence and provide insights and input based on the data.
  • Strong computer skills with MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required.
  • Knowledge of CRM helpful to manage contacts

Education and Experience

  • 3-5 years of marketing experience in a professional work environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Business, or related field
  • Experience working with non-profit, start-up, or innovation company preferred.
  • Experience with managing websites & working in a CMS, Drupal platform experience a plus.
  • Experience creating and managing email campaigns in online tools, e.g. Constant Contact or Mail Chimp
  • Experience in managing social media campaigns and tools, e.g TweetDeck or Sprout Social
  • Experience working  in a CRM, Salesforce preferred

Position: Marketing Manager
Department: Marketing
Reports To: Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

Apply now

Business Development Associate

Position Summary

The Business Development Associate is a key member of the business development team at CONNECT, working to build strong relationships with corporate supporters to sustain CONNECT’s mission of helping entrepreneurs create and scale great technology and life science companies.

Business Development is charged with cultivating, sustaining, and increasing membership and sponsorships at CONNECT. The Development Associate will work closely with the Director, organizing and managing all aspects of meetings with key supporters of CONNECT. The Business Development Associate supports and participates in all membership activities including membership renewals, event sponsorship, marketing, and special events. The Business Development Associate provides essential management for the membership process for corporate donor prospecting, research, database entry, and retrieval of reports. The Associate handles meeting and event planning and logistics, and will be a power user of CONNECT’s Salesforce database.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Actively managing the Director’s calendar, in coordination with the Executive Office, with the proactive understanding that precision and dexterity is essential to the effective running of the department, as well as in supporting CONNECT’s most important relationships
  • Draft the Director’s correspondence, including cover emails, donor acknowledgements, and internal memos
  • Proactively coordinate the Director’s portfolio of donors and key stakeholders, including arranging and participating in member and sponsor meetings, creating pre-meeting reports, managing meeting materials, and creating and documenting follow-up plans for each donor
  • Prepare materials, packages & presentation materials, in coordination with Marketing for meetings with members & sponsors
  • Manage the member renewal process including creating invoices, sending follow-up communications or prompting the Director to do so, and sending acknowledgement letters and other correspondence
  • Ensure data is entered into the Salesforce CRM accurately and in a timely manner and continually update the database with relevant member information
  • Research the San Diego market to identify and develop new member and sponsor prospects
  • Ability to take on a large amount of administrative support work with a graceful attitude and with the understanding that effective administration serves a tremendously strategic role in the successful functioning of the department
  • Capacity to consider and implement the improvement of systems and processes, in collaboration with other members of the team
  • Be available (as requested) to work occasional evenings at CONNECT events, providing an opportunity to engage directly with leadership, donors, and stakeholders
  • Liaise with departments across CONNECT; Executive Office, Springboard, Match, Programs & Events, Marketing and Finance departments for various and essential business development operations
  • Provide general, cheerful, enthusiastic support at CONNECT as requested
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated success in working as a member of a team and developing effective working relationships with donors, Board members, staff, and the CONNECT community.
  • Agility in responding to rapidly changing priorities and ability to work well under pressure.
  • Extremely detail oriented and organized with the ability to handle multiple, concurrent streams of work
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Rigorous adherence deadlines related to business development and coordinating with other departments’ deadlines
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and coordinate cross-department to ensure alignment and transparency
  • Proven ability to work independently and push projects forward in line with department goals

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in a related field
  • Two to three years of experience in a relationship building and maintenance position, preferably in a not-for-profit development office
  • Proficiency in CRM usage (Salesforce preferred) and Microsoft suite of products

Position: Business Development Associate
Department: Business Development
Reports to: Director of Business Development

Apply now

Contact Us

San Diego Office

4790 Eastgate Mall, Suite 125
San Diego, California 92121 Map It!

Phone 858.964.1300