CDL-Vancouver introduces Compute stream to scale revolutionizing technologies

CDL Compute Stream Header Image.jpg
Posted 2022-04-27

In the midst of a digital transformation precipitated by a global pandemic, CDL is launching a specialized stream to advance core enabling technologies that will have the impact of the printing press, personal computer or internet.

Creative Destruction Lab-Vancouver (CDL-Vancouver) is launching CDL Compute, a specialization that has evolved from learning on the Prime stream. CDL-Vancouver is based at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. The new stream will focus on scaling solutions for 5G and connectivity, edge, spatial compute, AV/VR and meta, as well as processing and decentralization, by bringing together world-renowned scientists, academics, visionary entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to provide mentorship, networking and investment opportunities to participating ventures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for digital transformation, accelerating demand for faster and more efficient computing hardware and software technologies. Compounded by a global chip shortage, this need requires innovation and rapid development to fulfill. CDL saw this opportunity and will support pre-seed and seed-stage startups in commercializing their revolutionary computing solutions.

“CDL’s goal is to support the translation of science and technology into commercial impact for the betterment of humanity,” says Darrell Kopke, director of CDL-Vancouver. “Given British Columbia’s emerging expertise in advanced computing areas such as edge computing, iOT, decentralized finance, web3 and the metaverse, we felt the timing was right to support in driving these technologies forward.”

Three factors overwhelmingly contributed to the decision to launch the stream at UBC Sauder:

  • Proximity to TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle accelerator centre, as well as UBC’s computer science program (tied for the best comp sci department in Canada and in the top 25 worldwide), and the 150-member Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems for interdisciplinary research at UBC, allows Compute to engage world-class researchers and students.
  • CDL-Vancouver’s experience catering to the niche needs of computing startups within the general Prime stream, including Synthiam, a software platform that makes programming robots’ autonomous capabilities more accessible, and Iris Dynamics, which creates fully-integrated electric linear motors that simplify robotic design.
  • The province’s expanding tech sector saw a staggering 316 percent growth in investment in 2021, the second largest investment increase in Canada.

The introduction of a CDL Compute stream in Vancouver will ensure that funding continues to flow, especially to early-stage ventures which remain under-funded in the province. In the last quarter of 2021, pre-seed companies received only 0.6 percent of funding and seed-stage 20.2 percent. Like CDL’s other specialized tech streams — AI, Blockchain and Space — Compute will bring targeted investments, helping to close B.C.’s early-stage funding gap.

“We aim to support technology founders to massively scale their ventures,” says Kopke. CDL-Vancouver will be accepting massively scalable, pre-seed and seed-stage startups working on new computing hardware and software with a focus on core enabling technologies, such as the development of drastically faster and more efficient computing through non-general-processing-unit-based systems; new localization or connectivity technologies, resulting in order-of-magnitude better wireless data transfer; and greater decentralization.

“As the Internet is starting to evolve into Web 3.0, innovations here are exciting and timely. The CDL can serve pockets that are underserved,” says Boris Wertz, founder of Version One Ventures and early-stage investor in mission-driven startups. “I see crypto/web3, AR/VR, robotics as early technologies that have not yet been fully tapped for potential. I am personally very bullish on this area and hope that we see new projects through CDL thinking about where to take computing next.”

Join a CDL-Vancouver Compute webinar to learn about how we can build something massive, together.

Companies and founders interested in applying to the Compute stream can contact for more information. Applications will be accepted online until July 31, 2022.


About Creative Destruction Lab:

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies. Its nine-month program allows founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their likelihood of success. Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the program has expanded to 11 sites across five countries. Participating ventures have created $19 billion (CAD) in equity value.


Media Contact:

Amarpreet Kaur

Associate Director
Creative Destruction Lab