Cool Companies: The fastest, most Exciting Startups in Southern California

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Feb 7, 2023


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  • Cool Companies is an annual capital program organized by Connect to match San Diego’s top-performing technology and life sciences startups with quality venture capital.
  • A live event is often held by Connect/San Diego Venture Group, which combined last year, where Cool Companies can showcase their offerings to approximately 100 venture capital investors that travel to San Diego from all over the country.


  • The application for Cool Companies 2023 is open.Β 


  • Cool Companies has raised over $850 million since 2015 and has the potential to impact the startup community as it continues to grow and evolve.

Cool Companies is an annual capital program organized by Connect, designed to match San Diego’s top-performing technology and life sciences startups with quality venture capital. 

This program aims to provide early-stage startups with the necessary resources to grow and succeed, making it an essential event for the startup community in San Diego.

Connect uplifts business owners by giving them access to funding, mentorship, introductions, and educational programs. The organization supports thriving creative businesses so they can contribute to the growth of the San Diego region. Their core goal is to create a thriving innovation economy.

The Selection Process

The selection process for Cool Companies is thorough and selective. Startups must meet specific eligibility criteria to be considered, and they are chosen based on their performance and potential for growth. 

Quality venture capital is critical for startups to succeed, and Cool Companies works to match startups with investors who can provide the necessary support.

Benefits for Startups

Participating in Cool Companies offers many benefits for startups. Access to quality venture capital can be life-changing for early-stage startups, providing them with the necessary resources to grow and develop. 

The program also provides networking opportunities and exposure to the San Diego startup community, helping startups establish essential connections and gain visibility.

The Event

The Cool Companies have raised over $850 million since 2015. The program format includes key activities such as pitch sessions and networking opportunities, providing participants with a unique and valuable experience.

Applications for the class of 2023 are open through February 20th! 

You can apply using the link:

Class of 2022 Cool Companies

Here’s a glimpse of a class of 2022:

2020’s Cool Companies

Here’s an overview of three cool companies featured in 2020’s event.Β 

GoShare developed a mobile app that connects customers without access to a pick-up truck with a pool of gig workers with big trucks to deliver items like flat-screen televisions to their houses.

Ultracapacitors are rechargeable batteries-like devices that can store energy and release it in a burst. UCAP Power wants to make them more used. 

Axon Therapy, a non-invasive magnetic treatment that NeuraLace Medical claims have shown significant pain reduction in 100 patients in an empirical trial, attempts to stop the epidemic of chronic pain.

The Future of Cool Companies

As Cool Companies continues to grow and evolve, it has the potential to have a significant impact on the startup community. The program is being improved and expanded to other regions, providing more startups with the opportunity to connect with quality venture capital.

Check out their Springboard program if you believe your business is ready for venture funding but would like to speak with an advisor before applying.

Wrap Up!

Cool Companies is a vital capital program that provides early-stage startups with the resources they need to succeed. By connecting startups with quality venture capital, the program helps them grow and develop and provides valuable networking opportunities. We encourage startups to participate in Cool Companies and take advantage of their benefits.


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