Connect Receives $30,000 Grant from U.S. Bank Foundation

Dec 13, 2023

Connect Receives $30,000 Grant from U.S. Bank Foundation

San Diego, California (December 13, 2023) Connect, a nonprofit organization that has cultivated and grown San Diego’s life science and tech communities for 35+ years, today announced it has received a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation. The grant will be used to support Connect’s XEO program which focuses on building the next generation of diverse innovation leaders.

“Creating equitable opportunities for our community requires resources, and we appreciate the support from the U.S. Bank Foundation, which helps us continue to build and expand the innovative programs we’re proud to offer,” said Regina Bernal, Strategic Inclusion Director at Connect.

Connect aims to build a more robust, diverse, and inclusive innovation region for generations to come. XEO will ensure that the next generation of San Diego’s tech and life science executive leadership is reflective and responsive to the diversity of our mega-region.

“I cannot express how amazing the XEO program is and the generational impact that it will have on our leadership in the San Diego Innovation ecosystem. In 10 – 15 years people will be telling stories about how pivotal XEO was in achieving their C- level positions,” said James Mackay, President & CEO at Aristea Therapeutics.

“Supporting the development of small businesses and a dynamic workforce is an investment in today and our future. We’re proud to work with organizations like Connect to help people to succeed in their careers and build thriving communities,” said Enrique Meza, Community Affairs Manager at U.S. Bank San Diego.

“This is such important work. The XEO program is so incredibly inspiring. The individuals in the program are amazing, and the company leaders we’re engaging are so supportive. It gives me great confidence in our region’s future. We’re already seeing that this program is a difference maker, with the impact expanding exponentially with every engagement. We are so appreciative to have the U.S. Bank Foundation working alongside us. They are all in, and demonstrating what leadership is all about,” said Mike Krenn, CEO at Connect.

U.S. Bank is committed to powering human potential and creating lasting change in communities. The bank does this through the Community Possible platform, including philanthropy, community investments and team member volunteerism.

For more information about Connect and its programs, visit

About Connect
A trusted partner for more than 35 years, we propel our region’s entrepreneurs as they create and scale their companies – from first-time founders to seasoned executives. We operate across diverse industry verticals with a mindset driven by inclusive sociaI good – making a positive impact across the entirety of the mega­region. In elevating entrepreneurial mastery ­such as providing access to capital, advising and partnering opportunities – we bring together our region’s culture and spirit to ignite our region’s world-class innovation economy.

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Media Contact:

Regina Bernal, Strategic Inclusion Director