Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a seed-stage program for massively-scalable science- and technology-based startups. Founders in the program attend a series of five meetings over the course of nine months, the program places an emphasis on objective-setting, helping companies focus on what’s most important to their business. Companies in the program receive focused mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs who have founded, led, and sold significant tech companies. CDL takes no equity and charges no fees to founders. 

In CDL’s 12th cohort year, companies will be accepted into 20 different streams, across 12 locations around the world — five sites across Canada (CDL-Atlantic, CDL-Montreal, CDL-Rockies, CDL-Toronto, and CDL-Vancouver), four in Europe (CDL-Oxford, CDL-Paris, CDL-Estonia, CDL-Berlin), and three in the US (CDL-Atlanta, CDL-Wisconsin, CDL-Seattle).

By enrolling in CDL “we received advice from mentors on how to navigate such a pivot in our business model, as well as the things we should be focused on to execute that pivot” said Kevin Stadnyk (CEO) and Kirk Hovell (CTO) of Obruta Space Solutions, a CDL Space alumni company. “This advice really helped us land up where we are today, which was solidifying the pivot towards becoming primarily a software company. Once we made this pivot, customer interest and market traction, along with investor interest, contracts, and projects, all followed suit. Along with gaining pivotal advice, we also have had CDL Space mentors join us as advisors, providing us with ongoing support in this newfound direction.”

Applications for the 2023/24 Program Year will close on July 28, 2023.

CDL’s founder, Professor Ajay Agrawal, notes: “CDL’s mission is to enhance the commercialization of science for the betterment of humankind. The perfect CDL applicant is one that arrives with a great technology and a terrible business plan. CDL is a process, not an event. It’s about changing a start-up’s trajectory.”

To learn more about the CDL program, join a 15 minute CDL Intro Webinar.


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 twelve sites across six countries: Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Paris (HEC Paris), Atlanta (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology), Madison (Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Seattle (University of Washington, Foster School of Business), Berlin (European School of Management and Technology), Tartu (Delta Management School, University of Tartu), Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Montreal (HEC Montréal), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary), and Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University).