Greg McKee --Photo courtesy of Connect

Greg McKee --Photo courtesy of Connect

After serving as CEO of Connect for five years, Greg McKee will leave one of San Diego’s oldest startup accelerators. On Feb. 21, Connect announced McKee would leave the company to co-found a new fund, Torrent Ventures, which will invest in early stage life science and digital health companies in Southern California. His last day with Connect is on Feb. 28.

McKee joined the company in 2014, after its longtime CEO Duane Roth died suddenly from a bicycle accident. McKee previously served as CEO of Akela Pharma Inc. He’s also held leadership roles with other biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to lead Connect following Duane Roth and Bill Otterson in serving the innovation community in San Diego,” McKee said in a news release. “Being able to contribute to this vibrant ecosystem has been a great privilege, and I look forward to seeing Connect continue to grow and support startups. In my next step, I am excited to remain connected to San Diego’s startup ecosystem and provide opportunities for it to thrive.”

Board Chair Tim Scott will lead Connect in the interim, becoming its executive chairman. McKee will continue to be involved with the company as a member of its executive committee board of directors.

As Connect searches for its new leadership, it will also be launching a new accelerator in Chollas Creek. Called Connect All at the Jacobs Center, the program is focused on helping underrepresented founders.

Connect will also continue its long-running Springboard accelerator program, which has graduated more than 465 technology and life sciences companies. Last year, Connect received a grant from the San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center Network to expand the program.

“I would like to thank Greg for his service over the last five years,” Scott said. “We wish him great success in his new venture, and we look forward to working with him in his new role as an investor in startup life sciences companies.”