Cool Companies

The fastest, most-exciting startups in Southern California


Cool Companies is Connect’s annual capital program designed to match San Diego’s top-performing technology and life sciences startups ready to raise Series A — with quality venture capital. Each year Connect receives several hundred applications to be part of the program. Each applicant is reviewed by a panel of judges who select the cohort to present for everyone to see. 

The deadline to apply was February 9th, 2024 at 11:59pm PT

2024 Cool Company Badge

Since 2015, Cool Co’s have secured over $900 million in funding, and that’s just in Institutional Series A rounds. When looking at funding from all rounds of our Cool Company cohorts since 2015, that total can be raised to $3.92 billion.

Key Highlights for Cool Companies

Network in-person with 150+ highly vetted VCs, and have strategic introductions all year

Access to San Diego’s premier network of entrepreneurs and trailblazers

Access to top-tier advisors to help with any of your business needs

Be publicly recognized as one of Southern California’s most exciting start-ups

Exhibit at some of the coolest venues in San Diego to show off your company

Important Dates for 2024 Cool Companies

Mark these dates on your calendar!

Date Event
Dec. 18, 2023 Applications Open
Feb. 9, 2024 Applications Close
Mid-March 2024 Companies Notified of Selection
April 8, 2024 Class of 2024 Public Announcement
April 8, 2024 Class of 2024 Welcome Gathering (In-Person)
April VC Showcase (In-Person)
June TBD 12th Annual Summer Social (In-Person)
Ongoing 1:1 Fundraising Advising

Have Questions About Cool Companies?

Learn more about the Cool Companies program with these Frequently Asked Questions.


Ask Program Manager, Matt Alamo

Thank you to the 2024 Cool Companies Program Sponsors

Connect San Diego California Tech LifeSci Bio Innovation Startup Company Sponsor Logo 2021 Marsh McLennan logo
Stifel Bank
Banc of CA

Connecting Tech & LifeSci Startups w/ Capital

Meet the 2024 Cool Companies

  • All
  • Tech
  • LifeSci
  • Consumer

Meet the 2023 Cool Companies

  • All
  • Tech
  • LifeSci
  • Consumer

Meet the 2022 Cool Companies

  • All
  • Tech
  • LifeSci
  • Consumer

Meet the 2021 Cool Companies

  • All
  • Tech
  • LifeSci
  • Consumer

2020 Cool Companies

2019 Cool Companies

2018 Cool Companies

2017 Cool Companies

2016 Cool Companies

2015 Cool Companies