Often, entrepreneurship can be fostered by creating an atmosphere in which existing innovators are encouraged to invest their time and expertise mentoring new entrepreneurs in their region. The CONNECT program in San Diego, for example, links entrepreneurs in the hightech and life sciences arenas with the resources they need, including technology, money, markets, management, partners, and support services. It was founded in 1985 at the urging of San Diego’s business community to grow the region’s technology sector by bringing together university research centers, business leaders, and government.
To date it has assisted over 800 technology companies. CONNECT operates with dues from its members as well as corporate support for specific programs. The Springboard program sponsored by CONNECT gives entrepreneurs 3 to 8 weeks of coaching from an “Entrepreneur in Residence,” and the opportunity to have their business plan critiqued by a venture capitalist, a seasoned entrepreneur with domain expertise, an accountant, corporate and patent attorneys, a marketing professional, and an executive from a successful company in the same industry.
For more on CAP’s policies for increasing innovation in science and technology, please see: