BERLIN/TORONTO — Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), founded at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, is launching a new site and program stream in Berlin, Germany’s most vibrant startup ecosystem. CDL-Berlin aims to massively improve personal and planetary health by engaging founders working at the leading edge of life sciences.

The new Health stream at ESMT Berlin will integrate CDL’s worldwide network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurs with Germany’s globally renowned health care and research systems. This stream will focus on translational science and technology innovations that improve human health and wellness, including digital health, medical devices, diagnostics, bioinformatics, genomics, as well as biotechnologies including therapeutics and synthetic biology.

CDL delivers an objectives-based, nine-month mentorship program for massively scalable science- and tech-based startups. CDL-Berlin will bridge the current commercialization gap in Europe between ​​scientific excellence and entrepreneurial translation. ​​

Germany is known for outstanding research across all technological sectors, but has lacked in transferring technologies into ambitious ventures and ultimately new global champions. The country is now building a new generation of deep tech entrepreneurs that leverage the power of top-notch research to address the world’s most pressing societal and environmental problems. In life science research and early discovery, Europe’s direct annual global potential impact is estimated at $0.5 trillion to $1.3 trillion over the next 10 to 20 years. 

CDL-Berlin will unleash this potential and significantly improve the lab-to-market timeline, as well as success rates, by supporting founders on their market access, regulatory and business challenges.

“CDL is a great addition to our entrepreneurship and tech portfolio at ESMT and will give our students who are interested in founding access to an experiential program and opportunities for hands-on experience. In cooperation with world-class health institutions based in Berlin, we would like to make a lasting impact within the thriving health care ecosystem,” said Jörg Rocholl, President, ESMT. 

“We are very pleased to have won over Thorsten Lambertus, with his strong expertise in deep tech innovation, to lead our CDL site, and look forward to announcing a renowned academic director in the near future,” Rocholl added.

ESMT Berlin is at the heart of Europe, and is the ideal home for this new CDL site. ESMT is Germany’s No. 1 business school, developing entrepreneurial leaders who think globally, and act responsibly. As an institution that’s embedded in Germany’s deep tech economy, ESMT holds close ties with top-tier research institutions, world-leading companies, and hidden champions across all sectors. 

With the Health stream, CDL-Berlin focuses on an industry with a major recent success case: BioNTech. CDL-Berlin will contribute to global efforts in improving human health and wellness, and is situated to give founders access to a world-renowned center of medical excellence. It is home to several leading institutions and programs with a strong focus on health care, including: 

“CDL is a structured social experience with economic impact. The program has a proven process for helping companies cut through distractions and focus on what’s most important,” says Sonia Sennik, executive director of CDL. “We are delighted to welcome Berlin’s vibrant community of seasoned entrepreneurs and experienced investors to the global CDL network.”

“Germany is an innovation powerhouse with outstanding research across all technological sectors, but innovators struggle to transfer technologies into ambitious and ultimately successful ventures,” said Marco Janezic, founding partner of Blue Ribbon Partners, a company builder focusing on life sciences, and seasoned mentor at CDL-Oxford. “CDL-Berlin is well placed at Germany’s top business school ESMT to fill this gap.”

Companies and founders interested in applying to the CDL-Berlin Health stream can contact for more information. Join a CDL Health Webinar to learn more. Applications will be accepted online until August 28, 2022 11:59 ET.

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 12 sites across six countries. Participating ventures have created $20 billion (CAD) in equity value. 

About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin is the highest ranked business school in Germany and top 10 in Europe. Founded by 25 leading global companies, ESMT offers master’s, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as executive education on its campus in Berlin, in locations around the world, online, and in online blended format. Focusing on leadership, innovation, and analytics, its diverse faculty publishes outstanding research in top academic journals. Additionally, the international business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is a non-profit private institution of higher education, accredited by AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA, and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all its activities and communities. 

Media Contact

Amarpreet Kaur
Associate Director
Creative Destruction Lab