Speaker Series: Greg McKee
On Thursday, September 15, Greg McKee P’25, CEO of Connect, a San Diego nonprofit that supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship, spoke with the faculty, staff and parents to kick-off this year’s speaker series.
McKee is the fourth leader of the 31-year-old organization, which was founded to support innovators in starting and building new biotech and technology companies. Connect has remained central to the growth of the innovation economy in San Diego.
McKee spoke of the paradox between 2007 and 2008. He shared that in 2007, the iPhone, Wii and XBox debuted; Facebook and Twitter took off in popularity; and the Android Consortium was formed. Just a year later, what became known as the Great Recession hit; the housing bubble burst and the U.S. labor market lost 8.4 million jobs. This instability forced workers to find another way to earn a living and increased the number of entrepreneurs and startups.
Connect helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition, build teams, find capital and commercialize technology. In their recently released San Diego Innovation Report 2015, Connect states in 2015 alone, there were 405 new innovation startups in San Diego County that created 1,650 new jobs. Of those, 255 new software companies created 906 jobs, 82 new life sciences companies created 330 new jobs, and 50 new communications, computer and electronics companies created 342 new jobs.
McKee’s ask of our faculty and staff is to train the next generation of kids who will grow up to solve the “big 10” world problems, encourage innovation, and propel us into the future.
Guided by LJCDS’ promise of Inspiring Greatness for a Better World, which speaks to the importance of access to resources and mentorships, the speaker series is a way for faculty and staff to connect the world to the school, and the school to the world to foster a culture of greatness.
More About Greg McKee
Prior to joining Connect, McKee was a healthcare and financial industry executive. McKee has spent most of his career in the life sciences industry. He was a co-founder of Global Bio-Link, a specialty pharmaceutical company that commercializes new drugs in markets outside the U.S. His recent positions include founder and chairman of GMcK Ventures, a La Jolla investment and advisory company focused on healthcare and technology innovation, and managing director of STS Capital Partners, an international investment banking firm in La Jolla. Before starting Global Bio-Link in 2012 with former executives of Genzyme’s international division, McKee served as the chairman and CEO of Akela Pharma and its predecessor company, Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Previously, McKee held roles as the head of corporate development at Valentis, and in senior management roles with Genzyme Corporation in the U.S. and Asia. He lived and worked in Singapore and Japan for nine years and speaks fluent Japanese.