CONNECT ALL to be Housed in New Downtown Convention Center and Stadium
SAN DIEGO (October 24, 2016) – Today, CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, announced the launch of CONNECT ALL, the region’s first diversity-focused start-up incubator and accelerator. Together with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos, and retired Charger Luis Castillo; H. Puentes, Director of CONNECT ALL announced this collaborative initiative. Spanos and the Chargers have committed to housing CONNECT ALL in the new downtown convention center and stadium.
"I’m excited about the collaboration between the San Diego Chargers and the Connect ALL Incubator for Diversity-based CEO's and start-up businesses,” Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said. “This perfectly embodies the spirit of why we selected downtown as our preferred site for a multi-use facility that is so much more than a stadium. And, we'll have tourists to thank for this opportunity to expand the innovation opportunities downtown."
CONNECT recently launched this important new initiative, CONNECT ALL. The mission of CONNECT ALL is to increase diversity among entrepreneurs, executives, and boards of directors. Findings from national research indicate that one approach to effectively accomplish this goal is to engage diversity at the company’s inception, at the founder level. CONNECT ALL believes startups that begin with diversity at their core will grow to become companies with fundamentally different mindsets and corporate cultures.
“As the son of an entrepreneur I know just how hard it is to make it,” said Luis Castillo, retired Charger and CONNECT ALL Advisory Board Member. “And as a Latina it was even harder for my mom, so I fully understand how important it is to provide entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to grow.”
Currently the CONNECT ALL initiative operates out of CONNECTDT@DeskHub in downtown San Diego and focuses on bridging the gap between underrepresented groups and tech and life science startups. The CONNECT ALL initiative encompasses a suite of offerings targeted at every stage of the startup lifecycle: outreach and education to underrepresented groups, recruitment and engagement of diverse early-stage entrepreneurs, and delivering programming and mentoring to those startups as they grow.
“Our city is known for tourism, active lifestyles and its innovation economy. So there’s nothing more San Diego than bringing together entertainment, sports and innovation at one location,” Mayor Faulconer said. “There are few things more important than connecting more San Diegans to opportunities to succeed. Programs like CONNECT ALL can give more people the chance to start a small business, make a good living, and live up to their fullest potential.”
The first CONNECT ALL companies include:
- Spacetime, a mobile platform that leverages augmented reality and social media to allow users to share their stories in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude and time.
- TechMeetsTrader, a social trading community for stock and option investors that revolutionizes communication amongst self-directed investors by providing an easy to use, low barrier to entry platform that directly addresses the problems for retail traders.
- Steeltrader, a technology platform that creates new revenue for steel suppliers by matching their surplus inventories to smaller companies searching for a discounted deal. Steeltrader uses location based technology, industry data, and expertise to create an advanced marketplace.
- Say It, Save It, an easy to use mobile app created by a busy mom with no memory. Create profiles for kids, family, friends, business, inspiration and more. Save quotes, text messages and small conversations along with corresponding photos if you choose.
“It’s great to be a part of the CONNECT ALL family,” said Alex Hernandez, CEO & Founder of SpaceTime. “Having the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other entrepreneurs and the doors that H. has opened have been invaluable to me at this early stage.”
For more information on CONNECT ALL, please visit www.connect.org/connect-all.
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.