From Beach, “Bench to Bedside,” and Beyond
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – We are excited to announce that Connect received a grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation for our important work: From Beach, “Bench to Bedside,” and Beyond.
With the support of The Conrad Prebys Foundation award, we intend to meet the needs of our growing life science community by increasing our ability to remove barriers, make connections and offer critical support for entrepreneurs within the life science community. One particular area where the region can improve is leveraging our rich life sciences community to help first-time founders get through the fund-raising process and venture-backed founders to stay connected to one another through successes and challenges related to growth. We need bold steps to fund, advise and nurture transformational scientific discoveries led by strong, resilient and determined scientific leaders from all backgrounds. Our target population is the diverse community we serve – the founders, educators, employees, and ultimately patients that remain the center of our life science strategy focus.
From Beach, “Bench to Bedside,” and Beyond addresses the need to grow the local life science ecosystem and catalyze opportunities for success. Connect builds on our strong reputation in the community while simultaneously setting ambitious and meaningful goals. On April 28th, 2022, we hosted San Diego’s first ever Innovation Day. Over 3000 people attended, far exceeding expectations and over 140 VCs registered – most ever in our history. Thirty life science companies were part of the innovation expo to share with the community their life changing work. This was a multi-layered strategically organized day with a long term impact on the local life science community. We will build upon the momentum created through cultivated follow-ups with companies that aim to improve diversity in biopharma while providing life science talent with opportunities to explore and pursue their leadership potential.
Connect’s Springboard program will sharpen focus on life science innovation entrepreneurs along their journey, to help grow and scale their business, and accelerate their path forward. The Connect Team continues to work with a community of engaged advisors who are eager to meet with new companies. For life sciences founders looking for financing, we may set up meetings to further explore options or make introductions to the many other resources in our community.
The 2022 Cool Companies features 19 life sciences companies in the region, who were also represented at our inaugural Innovation Day. Our programming and support continues throughout the year and includes education opportunities, curated investor meet-ups and community and alumni gatherings to build a unique network of support.
This is our second year of support from The Conrad Prebys Foundation and in our first year of funding, Connect worked with ten companies that raised over $300M in funding. In addition to the large events highlighting our life sciences community, our team worked directly with more than 40 companies to provide key insights, strategic advice and support along their entrepreneurial journey.
We plan to invest deeper into the C-level talent pool, including the CSO, CTO role and others to nurture the rich diversity of experience and expertise and chart an inclusive path to success for the talent of this transformational industry.
Our region also has strong life science organizational support partners and world-class higher education research institutions. In our first year we forged key partnerships with JLABS, Nucleate and MedTech Color. We are better when we work together and we look forward to aligning our work together with more partners so that our life sciences research and companies find the support they need from a connected ecosystem.
We are excited to implement our plan and are grateful that From Beach, “Bench to Bedside,” and Beyond has been made possible in part by The Conrad Prebys Foundation.