In September 2016, the UBC Sauder School of Business launched the Western Canadian extension of the Creative Destruction Lab, a seed-stage program created at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, to help high-calibre technology start-ups activate their commercial potential and benefit to society. From the first expansion test in Vancouver, CDL now operates multiple sites, anchored at research intensive, across North America and in the UK and Europe.
Building Something Massive
CDL is an objective-based mentorship program that supports participating ventures in accelerating their trajectory as they work to scale ambitious tech-based businesses. 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.
At each Session, venture founders provide updates on their progress against the three predetermined objectives and other relevant milestones, and re-engage with the mentor community as they discuss the challenges they are working to solve as well as define their next set of three objectives. Finally, 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-West, 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.
For founders pursuing state of the art technological innovations across diverse industries. Distinct from CDL’s specialized streams that each focus on a particular industry or technology, CDL Prime admits diverse ventures pursuing many different applications of technology to industry problems. Strong Prime ventures include those with differentiated technology, regardless of having selected a target industry vertical.
For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on translational science and technology innovations that improve human health and wellness. CDL Health, offered at CDL-Oxford, CDL-Toronto and CDL-West, helps technical teams bring their health innovations to market by providing access to industry-leading mentors and investors in the life sciences domain.
For founders developing high impact and scalable solutions to help preserve and protect the natural world. The CDL Climate Stream at CDL-Paris and CDL-West will provide high impact contributions to climate challenges by unlocking the potential of cutting-edge research and accelerating its path to commercialization.
World Class Mentorship
CDL is a mentorship first program; participating ventures will have the opportunity to interact directly with CDL Mentors in order to identify and customize achievable but challenging, and most importantly relevant, practical objectives. CDL Mentors are the highest calibre resource for judgment; they have built significant technology companies themselves and / or contributed novel technical and scientific advancements, and are better positioned than anyone to help Founders, who are trying to solve big problems, make meaningful progress in building a disruptive, scalable business.