Toronto – Today the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management announced a cross-country expansion including CDL-Rockies at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, CDL-Montreal at HEC Montréal, and CDL-Atlantic at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business in Halifax, adding to CDL-West at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and the original CDL program in Toronto.


All five programs will use the methodology established at the Rotman School, which employs an objectives-based mentoring process led by highly accomplished entrepreneurs and angel investors focused on developing massively-scalable, science-based startups, often predicated on ideas developed over years of university research. The program also provides companies with opportunities to raise capital and receive guidance on technology roadmaps from the Lab’s Chief Scientists – leading professors in science, engineering, and computer science. Companies also receive business development support from business school faculty and MBA students. The program is laser focused on a single goal: equity value maximization.


The national expansion will enable at least three sources of economies of scale. First, the expanded network will facilitate better company-investor matching. For example, last year, through the CDL network, a Calgary-based investor with extensive connections in the oil and gas sector significantly enhanced the value of a startup based on a new optical liquid fingerprint technology that the founder developed during his PhD at Harvard and then commercialized through the CDL program in Toronto. Second, the expanded scale will further attract top talent to Canada.  Founders are already travelling to CDL from Israel, Europe, and the United States, including from Silicon Valley. Finally, the national rollout enables the CDL network to draw on an expanded pool of highly specialized talent from the science, engineering, and business school faculties at five of Canada’s top universities. Many of the individuals involved are world leaders in their area of expertise.  In addition, students in each of the five business schools will now have opportunities to engage with startups at any of the programs across the country.


“The national expansion of the Creative Destruction Lab unites several of Canada’s top business schools to transition scientific insights out of the academy and into the economy in order to positively impact the human condition. The PhDs, masters, post docs, faculty, and other inventors whom we are mentoring will leave a meaningful legacy. They are developing new products and services to enhance health, education, transportation, safety, communication, entertainment, and agriculture through innovations in areas such as wearable computing, high fidelity sensors, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and regenerative medicine,” says Darrell Kopke, Chief Operating Officer of the Creative Destruction Lab.


CDL-Rockies will focus on startups employing technological innovations focused on addressing opportunities in the energy market, leveraging the region’s deep expertise in the oil and gas industry. “CDL-Rockies will do for scientific breakthroughs applied to energy solutions what CDL in Toronto did for commercializing scientific advances in artificial intelligence. They created a cluster that attracts entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations from around the globe to Toronto. We’re employing their model and leveraging our strengths in oil and gas-related industries, as well as related areas of scientific research, to engage the worldwide business and scientific community to come to Alberta to launch, finance, and build massively-scalable, technology-based companies.” says Jim Dewald, Dean, Haskayne School of Business.


CDL-Montreal will focus on data science-oriented startups, leveraging IVADO’s world-renowned expertise in data science, operations research, and artificial intelligence. “The CDL developed a program that works. We’ll deploy it in our environment and engage the exceptional talent of the Montreal entrepreneur, investor, and science communities, along with some of our top faculty and students at HEC. We’ll leverage this expertise and the CDL model to attract talent from around the world to Montreal. CDL-Montreal will enhance economic growth in Canada and increase our country’s competitiveness in knowledge-based markets,” said Michel Patry, Director, HEC Montréal.

CDL-Atlantic will build on Dalhousie’s strengths, particularly in clean, ocean, and agriculture -related technologies. “The Rowe School of Business is thrilled to partner with the Rotman School of Management to deliver the innovative CDL programming.  We’ll employ their model to engage business and scientific leaders worldwide to develop a globally-competitive cluster for startup companies focused on ‘green and blue’ oriented markets. Together, we’ll enhance the economy of Atlantic Canada through innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Dr. Louis Beaubien, head of CDL-Atlantic.

Interested founders can apply to join any of the CDL programs through the website:


The CDL began in 2012 at the Rotman School with the goal of helping its participating startups generate $50 million in equity value over the program’s first five years; the program’s participants exceeded $1 billion in equity value creation in 4.5 years.  In 2015, the Lab added a stream focused exclusively on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) oriented companies and last year admitted 50 companies to the AI stream, such that the CDL is now home to the greatest concentration of AI-enabled startups of any program on Earth. Example CDL graduates include Thalmic Labs (Waterloo), Atomwise (San Francisco), Deep Genomics (Toronto), Nymi (Toronto), Automat (Montreal), Kyndi (Palo Alto), and Heuritech (Paris).

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges.