Creative Destruction Lab

Creative Destruction Lab

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) works with startups that employ technology and business models that focus on improvements to economic productivity and human welfare.


Their stated mission is to 'facilitate the creation and growth of massively scalable science & technology-based companies'. CDL has offices Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, New York City

Launched in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program has expanded to locations in Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary), Montreal (HEC Montréal), Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University), and New York City (Stern School of Business, New York University). CDL is focused early-stage companies with links to university research labs.

The Program involves:

  • Mentorship from entrepreneurs and angel investors: the CDL Fellows and Associates
  • Full-day sessions with the Fellows and Associates take place every eight weeks with the purpose of assessing progress and setting new short-term objectives.
  • Meetings are attended by the Fellows and Associates, a selected group of exited entrepreneurs, angel investors, and partners from leading venture capital firms who invest in ventures.
  • Mentors from academic institutions provide technical feedback to founders and advise the Fellows and Associates on objectives related to technology validation.
  • MBA students work with founders to develop financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune strategies for scaling. The program is designed for early-stage, science-based technology companies, though they consider all applicants based on their potential to scale and the viability of their product.


As of 2018, the CDL has eight streams across its six locations:

  • Artificial Intelligence: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on the application of machine learning. (Montreal, Toronto)
  • Blockchain-AI: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities that benefit from exploiting a combination of blockchain and machine learning technologies. (Toronto)
  • Cities: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities that enhance the productivity and livability of cities and neighbourhoods through, for example, the application of machine intelligence to public infrastructure or commercial real estate. (Toronto)
  • Energy: For founders developing transformational technologies for the energy industry. (Calgary)
  • Health: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on translational science and technology innovations that improve human health and wellness. (Toronto, Vancouver)
  • Prime (General Technology): For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on exploiting state of the art technological innovations that are outside the boundaries of the other streams. (Calgary, Halifax, New York City, Toronto, Vancouver)
  • Quantum: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities at the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning. (Toronto)
  • Space: For founders pursuing commercial opportunities that exploit the recent drop in the cost of accessing space. (Toronto)



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