About Connect w/ SDVG

We help entrepreneurs
build great companies

We are a non-profit in San Diego, California.

With the common thread that we are passionate about helping entrepreneurs,
impactful innovation, and improving the economy.

The Team to Make it Happen

Small, but mighty.

We are working to build a stronger innovation economy in Southern California.

 Meet the Connect w/ SDVG

Team

Mike Krenn

Mike Krenn

CEO

Mike lead the charge of the merge of Connect and San Diego Venture Group.  He served as President of SDVG, starting in 2014. He’s been fortunate to work with hundreds of companies and entrepreneurs, helping many raise startup capital. He also has experience (and empathy) with startups, having worked as a COO and VP of BD at a privately-funded technology startup. He was a founder of both the Tech Coast Angels and CommNexus. While at DLA Piper, he founded Venture Pipeline  — a free service that matches entrepreneurs with capital sources nationally, though primarily VC funds based in Silicon Valley. He has served on boards for Connect, The MIT Forum, the San Diego Software Council, and numerous other organizations.

Laura Shaw

Laura Shaw

COO

Dr Petra Stegmann

Dr Petra Stegmann

Springboard Program Senior Director

Alex Waters

Alex Waters

Connect ALL Program Director

Cait Kelly

Cait Kelly

Community Director

Nicole Leandra

Nicole Leandra

Marketing Director

Matt Kroe

Matt Kroe

Capital Programs Manager

Danea Ramos

Danea Ramos

Connect ALL Program Manager

Madison Oppenheimer

Madison Oppenheimer

Events & Marketing Manager

Matt Alamo

Matt Alamo

Entrepreneurial Programs Coordinator

Board of Directors

Building Tools, Mentorship Programs, and Connections to Capital to Help Entrepreneurs Build Great Businesses

Our Story


The Next Level of Collaboration in San Diego

For more than 30 years, both Connect and San Diego Venture Group have focused on supporting and elevating entrepreneurs in the San Diego region.

In May 2019, the organizations merged, combining the deep histories and wide successes of each organization to create a powerhouse of resources such as mentorship, education, and capital for innovators. Coming together as the next evolution of Connect w/ SDVG, the organization aims to be the premiere support system for innovators in the San Diego region.

Connect w/ SDVG serves entrepreneurs and startups from early stage throughout their growth journey, with a suite of curated programs and events aimed to help companies grow, gain access to capital, and scale. 

Parallel Paths of Success

Connect was founded as part of the University of California — San Diego as an internal department to encourage the commercialization of research and technology at the university. UC San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Regional EDC and private sector businesses, recognized the opportunity to establish an organization to transform San Diego’s growing research capabilities into an economic driver to increase the prosperity of the region.  

In 1985, Connect was founded as one of the nation’s first startup accelerators.

San Diego Venture Group was established in 1986 with the goal of bringing together people interested in new ventures and furthering individual companies in order to support the overall innovation economy.