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– Four San Diego-based startups accepted to program for fundraising assistance –

CONNECT-hi-resSAN DIEGO (March 8, 2016) – CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that helps create and scale companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, has announced that four local startups – Fragmob, GRI Bio, Guru, and Jaan Biotherapeutics – have been accepted into its brand new CapitalMatch program. Born out of CONNECT’s commitment to support San Diego’s innovation economy and a real need in the community, CapitalMatch aims to facilitate introductions between investors and investment-ready companies in the tech and life science sectors. CapitalMatch is paving the way for local startups to receive the funding they need to thrive.

“Our goal with CapitalMatch is to develop relationships with a large network of investors across the country. We work to understand their investment interests and then introduce them to the vetted San Diego companies that meet their investment criteria,” said Shawn Richardson, Senior Director, Match Programs at CONNECT. “We believe that being a part of the CapitalMatch program will be impactful for Fragmob, GRI Bio, Guru, and Jaan Biotherapeutics as they raise capital in the coming months.”

Fragmob, GRI Bio, Guru, and Jaan Biotherapeutics are the first companies to pass the vetting process of the CapitalMatch program. As CapitalMatch companies, they will now be supported with a variety of introductions and interactions with suitable potential investors.

CONNECT is pleased to introduce the first CapitalMatch companies:
· Fragmob: An international mobile sales automation software provider, Fragmob instigates action through technology that enables Direct Selling companies to realize the benefits of a powerful mobile solution. The Fragmob mobile platform drives Direct Selling sales reps towards the most focused, effective actions for their business in real-time and delivers actionable metrics so clients and users can achieve higher sales in less time. Raised funding will provide working capital as Fragmob builds its team to meet the growth in new clients and execute upon a strong sales pipeline.
· GRI Bio: GRI Bio is a clinical stage drug development company targeting NKT cells to treat various inflammatory diseases including liver disease and autoimmune conditions. Its lead asset, GRI-0621 is currently in a Phase IIA study with a targeted indication of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The Company is currently seeking equity financing to fund a Phase IIB, proof of concept trial that would complete in late 2017.
· Guru: Guru is revolutionizing the way visitors experience museums acting as the technological bridge to the 21st century audience. Utilizing beacon technology, Guru creates a customized app for each museum that turns the ever-present smartphone into a personal concierge, expert tour guide, map and interactive tool that connects the visitor with the museum. Guru is in the process of raising $750,000 with $500,000 still open.
· Jaan Biotherapeutics: Jaan Biotherapeutics L.L.C. (JBT) is a life science company that is focused in developing first-in-class therapies that regenerate damaged heart muscle and could potentially treat heart disease, the largest single cause of death in the world. Heart disease does not discriminate by gender or race and is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Their fundraising efforts will assist in developing new treatments for heart disease.

For more information on CONNECT, please visit www.connect.org. To see how your investment-ready company may get involved with CONNECT’s CapitalMatch program, please contact Shawn Richardson at srichardson@connect.org.
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ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

On December 1, CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, announced the winners of its 28th annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The prestigious competition, which begins in each year in the spring and culminates in the awards ceremony in December, is an annual signature event at CONNECT that recognizes and lauds groundbreaking products released within the last 18 months from San Diego-based innovation companies.

“San Diego’s innovation economy is driven by hardworking companies who, day after day, continue to change the way the world operates. We at CONNECT are honored to recognize the products that alter the global landscape and continue to elevate and highlight the region as a top innovation destination nationwide” said Greg McKee, President & CEO of CONNECT. “The 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards shine a spotlight on those standout entrepreneurs whose ideas are breathing new life into modern innovation.”

The 2015 Most Innovative Product Award winners faced a rigorous judging process before being selected from a pool of more than 100 nominations across eight categories: Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies, Cleantech, Communications & IT, Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools, Mobile Apps, Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices, Software & Digital Media and Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies. From the nominations, the panel selected forty-four semi-finalists, and finally, 24 semi-finalists.

Listed below, in their respective categories, are the eight 2015 Most Innovative New Product Award winners:

Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies:
• Ocean Aero’s Submaran – Ocean Aero’s Submaran is an autonomous, hybrid surface and subsurface vessel that is changing how we observe our oceans. This unmanned vessel has the ability to perform long term data-gathering missions, survivable and undetected, without the need to refuel or recharge.

Cleantech:
• Q Factory 33’s B3 Bypass Device – The B3 Bypass is a device that facilitates 625% increases in energy potential of solar, wind, stationary battery backup systems and electrical generators and enables 30% increases in conductivity, five-fold reductions in soft costs and elimination of expensive electrical upgrades.

Communications & IT:
• Mushroom Networks’s VOIP Armor – VOIP Armor is a “Voice over IP” gateway device that automatically heals and works around any network problems that otherwise negatively impact phone calls. You set it and forget it for crystal clear phone calls with unbreakable reliability for your business.

Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools:
• CureMetrix’s CureMetrix – An image analysis platform that quantifies the qualities of anomalies in images. As a first target, CureMetrix is focused on doing early and accurate detection of breast cancer in mammograms along with reducing unnecessary biopsies.

Mobile Apps:
• Chalk Digital’s Instant Mobile Ad Platform – Chalk Digital offers the only Do-It-Yourself advertising solution (portal and app) that builds locally targeted, affordable campaigns (with mobile optimized landing pages) within minutes. It offers businesses and consumers the ability to build, target and launch their own personal advertisement in minutes that is displayed in thousands of mobile apps based on your location.

Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices:
• PureWick’s PureWick – PureWick empowers women with safe and simple incontinence management in hospitals, in nursing facilities and at home. A non-invasive, disposable wick comfortably moves urine away from the body. PureWick offers a new standard of care without need for catheters or specialized nurses.

Software & Digital Media:
• Comhear’s MyBeam – MyBeam is a single, portable, wireless 12-18″ sound bar device that produces spatialized, localized, and binaural virtual surround sound. MyBeam delivers a fully immersive audio experience through a portable personal device that replaces headphones. The device commercializes a patent-pending algorithm that sends sound directly to your ears precisely the way your body was designed to receive it.

Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies:
• Hush’s Hush Smart Earplugs – Hush Smart Earplugs are the world’s first smart earplugs that help people sleep better in noisy environments. Combining a sound machine, earplugs, and smartphone connectivity, Hush allows you to drown out noises that keep you up at night, while simultaneously allowing you to hear the alerts and notifications you need.

To be eligible for the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards, the product must have been developed in the San Diego or Baja region, first introduced between March 2014 – August 2015, never nominated for this award before, and generated revenue from sales (except free mobile apps).

The winners were announced tonight, December 1, at the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards presentation and dinner at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

In addition to the eight companies honored for their outstanding new products, the William W. Otterson Award was awarded to the RQ-4 Global Hawk, developed by Northrop Grumman. The award is CONNECT’s highest honor given to technology or product that has demonstrated a significant impact on society and on our quality of life.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed to provide military field commanders with comprehensive, near-real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), plus detection of moving targets over a large geographical area for battle management, targeting and situation awareness of enemy actions. The superior performance of the Global Hawk’s system significantly enhances the U.S. military’s ability to prevail in all types of operations from sensitive peacekeeping missions to full-scale combat.

Finally, JP Morgan Chase & Company announced a major grant to the CONNECT Foundation. Brennon Crist, Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase & Company, presented a $230,000 check to CEO Greg McKee to support CONNECT in the development of small business clusters in San Diego.

“Serving almost 70,000 small businesses in San Diego County and as one of the nation’s top SBA lenders, JP Morgan Chase & Company has a great vantage point to see the innovations and creativity of American enterprise, which fuels our continued strength and future global competitiveness,” Crist stated. “We understand that many entrepreneurs are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems, which is why we support start-up accelerators like CONNECT who are making a dramatic difference in the way small businesses work and how they succeed.”

For more information on CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards, please visit connect.org.

ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

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San Diego Biotech Company Dermala Advances to InnovateHER Semi-Finals
Nationwide competition honors companies that impact and empower women’s lives

SAN DIEGO (December 8, 2015) – Today, CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, announced Dermala Inc., an early stage biotech company based in San Diego, as the winner of the recent InnovateHER challenge hosted by CONNECT and Hera Labs. The national InnovateHER competition, put on by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Microsoft in an effort to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families, will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2017 as part of the annual Women’s Summit, where the winning company will take home $40,000.

“It is an honor to be among the semi-finalists in the InnovateHER competition, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to showcase Dermala alongside other companies that are making a difference in the lives of women all over the world,” said Dr. Lada Rasochova, CEO and President of Dermala. “Being a female in male-dominated industry is one thing, but to be leading the charge in positively impacting other women’s lives is truly inspiring.”

Dermala was selected based on its measurable impact on the lives of women and families, potential for commercialization and its ability to fill a need in the marketplace. Judges of the local challenge were local business leaders Silvia Mah, CEO of Hera-Labs; Kim Davis King, Adjunct Professor at San Diego State, former venture capitalist and current angel investor; and Sergio Gurrier, Board Director, Tech Coast Angels.

Founded in 2014 by Dr. Rasochova and Eric Huang, Professor at the Department of Dermatology at UCSD, Dermala is an early stage biotechnology company that uses the human microbiome to develop treatments for chronic skin diseases. Rasochova has been involved in commercialization of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products for the past 20 years. She spent more than 15 years in private sector where she held various leadership and management positions, most recently as the R&D Leader and Director of New Business Development in Dowpharma division of the Dow Chemical Company.

For more information on InnovateHER, please visit https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/wbo/resources/1465581.

ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

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CONNECTSAN DIEGO (October 7, 2015) – CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary with an autumn-themed soiree on October 29. The event is an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the growth of San Diego’s innovation community over the last 30 years, as well as look to the future of San Diego’s technology and life sciences sectors. The evening is free with pre-registration, open to all, and will highlight some of the hottest start-ups and growing companies in San Diego.

“CONNECT is the very definition of a community organization – a place where people come together to make San Diego a better place,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “We’re looking forward to gathering with our friends and fellow San Diegans to mark this special milestone to celebrate our legacy, as well as our future – a continued and renewed commitment to the growth of innovation companies in San Diego.”

Guests at the event will get a first look at CONNECT’s new office space located at 4790 Eastgate Mall, Suite 125 in the UTC area of San Diego. Designed by bkm OfficeWorks and Hollander Design Group, the new CONNECT office physically reflects the organization’s mission of growing the innovation community through collaboration. At the event, CONNECT will also formally debut its new website, redesigned in partnership with MJD Interactive, which highlights the stories of entrepreneurs past and present.

From 5 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 29, CONNECT Springboard companies, alumni, and mentors; a deep guest list of innovation luminaries; a host of San Diego dignitaries past and present; and those who support innovation in San Diego will be in attendance. A Halloween theme, live DJ, food trucks, and craft beer will set the stage for celebration while attendees enjoy lawn games, hear company pitches from the best and brightest of San Diego’s growing companies in tech and life sciences, and chat with a veritable who’s who in San Diego’s innovation community.

CONNECT invites the public to pre-register to attend the free event via this link.

For more information about CONNECT, visit connect.org.

ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

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CONNECTSAN DIEGO (September 23, 2015) – Today, CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, announced the 24 finalists for the 28th annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The prestigious awards ceremony is a CONNECT signature event, held annually in December, that honors San Diego’s stars of innovation along with their newly launched groundbreaking new products.

“As an organization born out of the desire to help research evolve into life-changing products in the market and to grow San Diego’s presence on the national and international stage as a hub of successful life science and technology companies, we are honored to present these awards to those companies that are raising the bar and creating a flourishing innovation economy here in San Diego,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “The Most Innovative New Product Awards event is a great way to celebrate and recognize success for our regional companies and we’re looking forward to seeing who will be selected as the Most Innovative in each of the categories on December 1.”

Forty four semi-finalists from across eight categories: Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies, Cleantech, Communications & IT, Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools, Mobile Apps, Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices, Software & Digital Media, and Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies showcased their products in front of expert judging panels in each category earlier this month, from which 24 were selected as finalists.

Listed below, in their respective categories and alphabetized by company name, are the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Award finalists:

Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies:
· Cubic Global Defense’s Javelin – a man-portable guided weapon system used by the US Marine Corps and many other US and allied forces
· Ocean Aero’s Submaran – a new class of Unmanned Underwater, Surface Vehicle (UUSV) combines surface and subsurface performance in a unique transformable, self-propelling vessel, capable of long missions in extreme conditions
· Tortuga Logic’s Prospect – a hardware security verification software suite that can find security vulnerabilities in the earliest development stages of a modern computer chip

Cleantech:
· Flux Power’s The Flux LiFT Pack – a sustainable and ecologically friendly lithium-ion battery pack specialized for the material handling industry
· Q Factory 33’s B3 Bypass Device – this device will dramatically reduce the cost of and improve the efficiency of residential solar energy installations
· Yulex’s Patagonia Men’s R2® Yulex®/Nexkin® Front-Zip Full Wetsuit – a wetsuit that leverages the unique properties of the guayule plant, a hearty desert shrub native to the southwestern United States

Communications & IT:
· FieldLogix’s Goose – ensures that fleet drivers are more efficient and their waiting clients are happier
· Lytx’s Lytx DriveCam – an innovative solution that addresses one of the leading cause of avoidable collisions: distracted and drowsy driving
· Mushroom Networks’s VOIP Armor – a small network appliance that is installed inside the network of the business to manage and orchestrate multiple internet connections in the office to route VOIP (Voice over IP) and VC (Video Conferencing) IP packets around any network problems

Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools:
· CureMetrix’s CureMetrix – a technology that uses algorithms that not only help hospitals with analytics on their patients, but when applied to mammograms as an example, are finding breast cancer up to four years earlier
· DermTech’s: The Pigmented Lesion Assay (PLA) – the first gene expression test to identiify melanoma using a completely non-invasive adhesive patch biopsy
· GattaCo’s CENTREPON™ – the world’s first Centrifuge Replacement tool for use at the Point of Need

Mobile Apps:
· Boost Academy’s Boost Academy Math Tutoring Platform – offers students one-on-one math tutoring via the iPad
· Chalk Digital’s Instant Mobile Ad Platform – offers the only Do-It-Yourself advertising solution (portal and app) that builds locally targeted campaigns (with mobile optimized landing pages), affordably priced, within minutes and with ease
· Cubic Transportation System’s Ventra Mobile App – the first fully integrated transit application developed for transit riders in “Chicagoland”

Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices:
· PureWick’s PureWick – offers a solution for the capture of urine from adult females
· RXSAFE’S RxASP 1000 – the flagship of a new product design which greatly improves state of the art of the machinery and software for producing Patient Specific Multidose Adherance packaging
· Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:flex™ Insulin Pump – the first insulin pump designed for people with diabetes with greater insulin needs

Software & Digital Media:
· AristaMD’s Referral Intelligence Platform – submits the very first Referral Intelligence Platform that provides a set of actionable clinical guidelines, eConsult services to a full panel of board certified specialists and an analytics system providing business intelligence and operational tools to improve the referral issue
· Comhear’s MyBeam – a single, portable, wireless 12-18” sound bar device that produces spatialized, localized, and binaural virtual surround sound
· SOCI’s SOCI – an all-in-one enterprise social marketing and management solution

Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies:
· 100%’s The FORECAST – a complete film system comprised of working parts that function seamlessly together resulting in the smoothest operating system available today
· Hookit’s The Hookit Score – a comprehensive and first-ever verified scoring engine capable of measuring the talent and marketability of any athlete
· Hush’s Hush Smart Earplugs – the world’s first smart earplugs that help people sleep better in noisy environments

To be eligible for the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards, the product must have been developed in the San Diego or Baja region, first introduced between March 2014 – August 2015, never nominated for this award before, and generated revenue from sales (except free mobile apps).

The winners will be announced the evening of December 1 at the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards presentation and dinner, to be held at Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122.

For more information on CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards, please visit connect.org.

ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

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