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w/ San Diego Venture Group

Introducing the next level
of collaboration in San Diego.


TWO of the most established,
startup-supporting organizations in town…

Joining forces to foster a healthy ecosystem of
startups, capital, and community.


One of the nation’s first startup accelerators, Connect was founded in 1985 at UC San Diego. Then, in partnership with the San Diego Regional EDC, expanded as an initiative for economic renewal and sustained growth.
Best known in the community for the Springboard Program, community of mentors, and the Most Innovative Product Awards.


In recent years, San Diego Venture Group has changed the funding landscape in Southern California.  With strong VC relationships across the country, and a pool of high quality, fast growing companies — SDVG has helped bring >$200M to San Diego.  As a community effort, the org launched the first US city satellite office in the Bay area, and has expanded to offer offices globally.  Best known in the community for the Cool Companies program, the BeachHead, and Venture Summit.

Programs & Events

Mentorship & education designed to help entrepreneurs build out their business model and go-to-market strategy.

30 startups selected from over 250 applications, for exclusive opportunities to meet VCs.  Companies from past few years have raised over $150M.

San Diego’s largest annual gathering of Venture Capitalists and Growing Companies.

Most Innovative New Product Awards and Entrepreneur Hall of Fame annually recognize groundbreaking new technology products and individuals..

Connect/SDVG Members and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to use our partners’ office spaces while traveling — now all over the world.

It’s the party of the summer! Every year we gather San Diego’s finest to enjoy local craft brews at beautiful Scripps Pier.

In partnership with Tech Coast Angels (TCA), we select and mentor 10 startups.  Then they compete for $$.

One-on-one sessions with our vast community of quality mentors, domain experts, investors, and successful entrepreneurs.

A collection of educational workshops, led by industry experts, designed to expand an entrepreneur’s business acumen.


Bringing communities together.

Mike Krenn

Mike Krenn

Mike has been leading the charge at SDVG since 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.

Dr. Silvia Mah

Dr. Silvia Mah

Silvia is entrenched in the startup scene, growing life science & tech startups in SD. She is a founding partner of Ad Astra Ventures, aiming to “get to even” for high achieving women, and founder of She Invests! podcast, highlighting the impact of female angel investors. Silvia is the CEO/Founder of Hera Fund and Hera Angels, and has served as Executive Director of Hera Labs since 2012.  Silvia holds a Ph.D. in Marine Molecular Biology from UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography & an M.B.A. from UCSD Rady School of Management, focused on business strategy and marketing.

Get Involved

We’re very interested in getting to know the community better.
Even if you’re already signed up with one, or both, of the orgs — fill in your current info, and select your interest(s).

4110 Campus Point Ct,
San Diego, CA



"..creating what could be a powerhouse of influence with more money, more connections, and ultimately more support for the startup scene."

Brittany Meiling — SD Union Tribune

"Two giants in the San Diego startup community are combining forces. Connect and the San Diego Venture Group merged on April 25."

Elise Reuter — San Diego Business Journal