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For Entrepreneurs

Mentorship from Experts,  Access to Investors,
Community of Tech & LifeScience Leaders,
& the Tools to Build a Great Company

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.

The Innovation Awards honor iconic entrepreneurs and leaders, while celebrating the newest advancements in technology and life sciences.  Awards include: Most Innovative New Product, induction to the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award, and the Bill Otterson Award for Advancing Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

We invite you to join us for the 32nd Annual Awards Gala Dinner.

December 5 @ Hyatt La Jolla Aventine

Startup Accelerator Program

Mentorship by seasoned leaders with experience growing companies and raising capital. Springboard is a fast-paced and customized rolling mentorship program, designed for entrepreneurs and innovators in technology and science.


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


Serving the Region's Small Business Community

Funded in part through a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Connect w/ SDVG is part of the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network, serving entrepreneurs and small businesses with low to no-cost services to support business growth.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration.