Prebys Foundation Continues Support for Transformational Life Science Growth

May 20, 2024

San Diego, California (May 20, 2024) – Connect is excited and grateful to receive support from The Conrad Prebys Foundation to further the life sciences work of Bench to Bedside and Beyond. Because of this funding, our organization has leveraged our region’s rich life sciences community to help first-time founders get through the fundraising process and venture-backed founders stay connected to one another through successes and challenges related to growth. This work has been especially helpful when innovation companies have been impacted by larger macroeconomic forces.

Our outcomes speak for themselves. Since Prebys Foundation began its support to deepen our life sciences work, Connect has engaged with over 250 companies and provided one on one support to nearly 100 of them. Companies that are part of Connect’s key programs, like Cool Companies and Springboard, raised over $110 million in institutional funding in 2023. Of that funding, nearly 15% went to companies with a diverse founder. That’s seven times the national average. This deliberate effort to advocate for and support diverse founders aligns with Prebys Foundation’s work to deepen inclusivity and belonging for our region across all their funding areas. Connect is proud to positively contribute to making scientific and medical research more inclusive and reflective of the fabric that is our binational region.

To ensure the best and strongest pipeline of diverse entrepreneurs and life science leaders, support from Prebys also enables our XEO program. This leadership program has supported participants across the life sciences industry, including corporations like Catalent, Dexcom, Element Biosciences, Illlumina, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Lilly, and Nanocellect Biomedical. More than 15% of participants in the program have been promoted or been able to keep their talent in San Diego.

For our 2024 work, we plan on providing exponential access and impact to other areas of Prebys Foundation support. The San Diego Innovation Council annual showcase provides an opportunity for researchers and entrepreneurs to share their discoveries, inventions and stories with our regional innovation ecosystem. Connect is providing seasoned life science entrepreneurs to support these early stage companies and is helping prepare early stage companies to pitch at the event. For our Petco Park annual takeover on September 24 for Innovation Day, Connect will look at the diverse arts organizations supported by Prebys Foundation to provide cultural performances to the over 4,000 attendees. Providing these organizations with a stage alongside our top corporations, universities, institutions and innovation leaders will be sure to spark collaborative opportunities we can only dream of. Connect is the premier innovation leader for the San Diego region and we are grateful to walk alongside Prebys Foundation to build the best innovation ecosystem on the planet. Together, we can create an inclusive, equitable, and dynamic future for all San Diegans.


About Connect
Connect is the premier innovation leader for the San Diego region. We catalyze life science and technology companies throughout their entire growth journey with our expertly curated programs and events. This is critical because our economic future depends on continuous cultivation of a strong and inclusive innovation ecosystem.

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About Prebys Foundation
Prebys Foundation is the largest independent private foundation in San Diego County and works to create an inclusive, equitable, and dynamic future for all San Diegans.

The foundation advances excellence and shared opportunity through investments in groundbreaking institutions, ideas, and people to ensure more San Diegans are financially secure, healthy, empowered, and connected.

The foundation invests in four program areas: visual and performing arts, medical research, healthcare, and youth success, and pays attention to the impact of its work on climate, the region’s character as a border region, and a robust democracy.

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