Insights at UBC Sauder

Darrell Kopke assumes role of Director of Creative Destruction Lab Vancouver

Posted 2022-04-04

Paul Cubbon, Leader, Creative Destruction Lab Vancouver (CDL-Vancouver) and UBC Sauder Assistant Dean, Innovation made the announcement that Darrell Kopke has been named Director of CDL-Vancouver, a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science and technology-based companies, located at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

Darrell Kopke assumes the role from Yuan Shi, who has decided that the next step in her career will take her outside of CDL. Kopke and Shi have been working closely together over the past few months on a smooth transition.

“In September 2016, Darrell was the first person that I approached to help launch CDL-Vancouver,” said Paul Cubbon. “Although he had other obligations that prevented him from a full-time role, he was motivated by the mission, said yes, and has been with us ever since, contributing in multiple ways, including moderating sessions and running the CDL course. I cannot think of a better person to take CDL-Vancouver into the next phase of excellence and impact as the new full-time Director.”

“I am very excited to take on the position of Director of CDL Vancouver,” said Darrell Kopke. “For the past six years our site has played a key role in contributing over $3 billion of equity value creation for the British Columbia science and technology ecosystem, and I could not be prouder to have participated in that legacy. You can think of CDL as a translation mechanism for scientists and engineers to commercialize their work for the betterment of the human condition – the fact that our health diagnostics and therapeutics ventures have helped people walk, prolonged life, and decreased suffering in material ways is a source of tremendous pride.”

In addition to being an Adjunct Professor in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at UBC Sauder, Kopke is a seasoned executive, an entrepreneurial business leader and builder of dynamic corporate cultures (lululemon athletica, Kit and Ace) who specializes in high growth, omni-channel, media saavy and millennial worker environments. He is a serial entrepreneur (institute B, Ædelhard, Oranj Fitness) and Founding Director of Peekaboo Beans (PBB:VMX).

Kopke is considered a member of the group of founders of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), a Vancouver, Canada-based yoga-inspired athletic apparel retailer. As the original General Manager of the company, he oversaw the company’s expansion from one store in Kitsilano to 60 stores internationally, about 100 percent annual growth and $200+ million in sales.

Originally from Montreal, Kopke graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing and was president of his MBA class at UBC. In 2006, he was announced as a member of the Business in Vancouver magazine’s ‘Forty Under 40.’

“My goal for CDL-Vancouver is to be recognized as the single most important contributor to the UBC and greater British Columbia innovation and technology ecosystem, having clearly and powerfully impacted humankind,” said Kopke. “This is an audacious and unreasonable intention, and one that gets me out of bed every morning.”


About the Creative Destruction Lab

Launched in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) has now expanded with locations in Vancouver (UBC 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), Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Atlanta (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech), Paris (HEC Paris), Seattle (Foster School of Business, University of Washington), and Wisconsin (Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison).

The mission of the CDL is to enhance the prosperity of humankind through the rapid scaling of science-based companies and a new approach to business education that combines economic theory and learning-by-doing to nurture an entrepreneurial mindset.

In September 2016, the UBC Sauder School of Business launched the Western Canadian extension of the Creative Destruction Lab, CDL-Vancouver. Over a period of nine months, participating ventures attend five full-day Sessions during which CDL Mentors – a collective of leading entrepreneurs, experienced operators and subject matter experts – help to set three objectives for ventures to prioritize over the following eight weeks. Participating ventures have the opportunity to interface with, and learn from, individual and corporate partners, UBC students and pedigreed guests who bring a wide range of domain expertise and ecosystem connections.

CDL-Vancouver, in its first four years of operations, has accepted 187 ventures into the program; these participants collectively raised $235 million in investment (during the program) and have generated over $875 million in equity value. As a collective Global network, CDL companies have generated over $7.3 billion in total equity value.