Paul M. McConnell ’74
Paul M. McConnell is the founder of McConnell Development Inc., McConnell Johnson Real Estate and 1313 Innovation. He is an active member of the educational and entrepreneurship communities and a member of the board of advisors for UD’s Horn Entrepreneurship.
Paul and his wife, Linda, established the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, as part of the Horn program, to raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a viable career path for high school and university students. The Diamond Challenge, a highly-selective, international pitch competition, was a direct result of this initiative and has seen huge successes. In fall 2017, Paul funded and launched Dual School, an innovative program that enables high school students to create their own entrepreneurial projects that improve their local communities.
Paul served as vice president of the board of directors of Centreville Layton School and was a member of the board at St. Edmond’s Academy, where he and Linda built the science center. He served on the board of trustees for Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington and continues to volunteer on its behalf.
Paul’s career in real estate began in 1974 when he and his brother Dan formed McConnell Bros. Paul went on to develop over 5 million square feet in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Paul also started 1313 Innovation, one of the first community-based innovation centers, in Wilmington’s Hercules Building.
Paul is an avid angel investor and valued mentor to the local startup community. His involvement in the business community includes the state and county chambers of commerce. He is a member of the Delaware Business Roundtable and founder of the Wilmington Leaders Alliance. Paul also serves on the board of the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and the advisory board of Philadelphia International Airport. Through Rockford Capital Ventures, Linda and Paul have funded, solely or with partners, over 12 companies. Paul also serves on the boards of three private companies.
In 2015, Paul received the St. Patrick’s Day Society’s Daniel S. Frawley Community Leadership Award, and Paul and Linda received the New Castle County Chamber’s Wallace Johnson Award for Community Service. In June 2018, Paul was inducted into the Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Salesianum School.
Paul is a native Delawarean and graduated from UD in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Paul and Linda have been married for 25 years, have six children and one grandchild, and reside in Wilmington, Delaware.