FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Jana Wallis
CONNECT Announces Leadership Transition
CEO Greg McKee to take on new venture; chairman Tim Scott to provide leadership support
SAN DIEGO, CA (February 21, 2019) – CONNECT announces today that after five years as the CEO of CONNECT, Greg McKee will be departing the organization to pursue a new venture. Board chair Tim Scott will become Executive Chairman, stepping into a more involved role temporarily to provide support until new leadership for CONNECT has been established. An orderly transition has been planned since the beginning of the year, allowing McKee to complete his role as President and CEO on February 28. He will continue to provide support for CONNECT as a member of the executive committee of the board of directors.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to lead CONNECT following Duane Roth and Bill Otterson in serving the innovation community in San Diego,” McKee said. “Being able to contribute to this vibrant ecosystem has been a great privilege, and I look forward to seeing CONNECT continue to grow and support startups. In my next step, I am excited to remain connected to San Diego’s startup ecosystem and provide opportunities for it to thrive.”
McKee is co-founding Torrent Ventures, which invests in early stage, Southern California companies pursuing the most dynamic life sciences and digital health opportunities. This new venture will allow McKee to remain active in the San Diego ecosystem and work to bring capital opportunities to local startups and entrepreneurs.
“I would like to thank Greg for his service over the last five years,” Scott said. “We wish him great success in his new venture, and we look forward to working with him in his new role as an investor in startup life sciences companies. As we look forward, I’m eager to engage new leadership for CONNECT that has a passion for supporting entrepreneurs and partnering with all of the amazing organizations that comprise San Diego’s innovation ecosystem.”
McKee came to CONNECT in 2014 as the successor to long time CEO Duane Roth after his tragic and sudden passing. Under McKee’s leadership, CONNECT has secured more than $3 million in grant funding from several organizations including the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Legler Benbough Foundation, and Qualcomm, helping to continue CONNECT’s mission of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
A critical component to achieving that mission is CONNECT’s cornerstone Springboard Accelerator Program, which continues to be a crucial part of San Diego’s thriving innovation ecosystem. Since 2014, Springboard graduates have raised more than $780 million in capital, and over the last three years, more than 65 technology and life sciences graduates have completed the program. In 2018, McKee and the CONNECT team secured a grant from the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network to support and expand Springboard and other entrepreneurial program offerings.
In 2015, the CONNECT ALL initiative was launched to bridge the gap for minority founders and increase their access to resources such as mentoring and capital. That program was a catalyst for the creation of CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center which will launch this spring. In partnership with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and funded largely by the City of San Diego, it will be the region’s first business accelerator focused on serving financially disadvantaged and diverse founders.
CONNECT has a strong history of talented, committed leaders in its 34-year tenure and the search for its next leader will focus on candidates that will continue this legacy of successful leadership. CONNECT will continue its mission of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in San Diego through its programming and opportunities to partner with peer organizations.
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 they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. CONNECT is 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.
For further information contact Jana Wallis at email@example.com or 858.964.1300.