About Us

We Are ConnectUP!

We Partner with Entrepreneurs, Investors, and the Community to Change Lives for the Better

About Us

ConnectUP! Institute is a social finance and enterprise development center. We provide education, consulting and collaboration on innovative social finance as well as enterprise development for entrepreneurs from underestimated communities.

Our Mission

We curate connections among entrepreneurs, investors, and the business ecosystem to advance equitable access to capital, resources and networks (for underinvested communities) with an emphasis on Black and Brown women and their lived experiences.

Our Vision

We know that when Black/Brown women do well, we all do well. To that end, our vision is for Black/Brown women entrepreneurs to have intergenerational wealth through equitable access and culturally responsive resources, capital, & networks.

Our Values

INTENTIONAL TRANSPARENCY with the work we do, the communities we serve and the relationships we build.

RESPECTING who people are, where they are and the identities they hold.

360-DEGREE COMPASSIONATE ACCOUNTABILITY to foster equitable and economically vibrant communities.

Being GUIDED BY ANCESTRAL KNOWLEDGE that Communities hold wisdom that works.

Being UNAPOLOGETIC about who we are, where we’re from and who we serve with courage and passion.

Meet The ConnectUP! Team

ConnectUP! is committed to empowering startups, entrepreneurs, and investors through our diverse staff.

Y. Elaine Rasmussen

Driven by the mission to mainstream impact investing and democratizing access to capital Elaine founded SISG in 2016. Rasmussen is creating community-centered […]

Ixchel McKinnie

Ixchel joined Social Impact Strategies Group (SISG) in December 2020, bringing her operational and financial experience to SISG. In her role, she leads enterprise development […]

Vinnae Edgerly-Collins

Vinnae Edgerly-Collins is the social media assistant at Social Impact Strategies Group (SISG) and has […]

ConnectUP! Board of Directors

Elaine Rasmussen

Jon D. Rasmussen

Leigh Lester

ConnectUP! Gallery

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