Montréal, March 24, 2022CDL-Montréal, the support and development program for tech startups based at Executive Education HEC Montréal, has just surpassed $1 billion in equity value creation. This represents the total value of businesses that have completed the program since it was founded in 2017.

This outstanding performance is an indication of CDL-Montréal’s ability to develop talent and businesses employing artificial intelligence (AI) for commercial purposes and to optimize supply chains. It is also a tribute to Montréal’s exceptionally dynamic character and its role as a global hub in artificial intelligence.

Double the goal

This amount is double the program’s $500 million target for its first 5 years. Every year, some 50 high-potential tech startups, in fields ranging from healthcare to aerospace, cybersecurity, transportation and retail trade, are admitted to the program. To date over 180 of them have been supported by CDL-Montréal.

“CDL-Montréal’s outstanding success is that it leads to the creation of technological solutions in artificial intelligence that make a difference, often on a global level. Startups need to attract as much investment as possible, under the best growth conditions possible for the founders. And favourable conditions are exactly what the program offers, by supporting the development of their business plans and enabling them to scale up their technology,” explains Julien Billot, CDL-Montréal Director at Executive Education HEC Montréal

A key player in the Montréal ecosystem

In this program of international scope, over 50% of these startups have been created in Quebec and continue to develop here, contributing to the provincial and national economies.

“It’s thanks to collaborative initiatives like CDL-Montréal that the Montréal region can really contribute to the growth of the new market for artificial intelligence and have an impact as a key player. This kind of collaboration between academics, businesspeople, scientists and investors can lead to the emergence of new industrial and technological giants. In just 5 years, this program has clearly managed to create wealth, jobs and business opportunities,” emphasizes Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the Boards of HEC Montréal and CDL-Montréal. 

Combining innovation, education, economics and entrepreneurship

CDL-Montréal supports seed-stage science-based ventures, with the goal of maximizing their value. The program relies largely on mentorship and encourages the transfer of experience from the established entrepreneurial community and investors to high-potential entrepreneurs.

Based in the heart of the School, at Executive Education HEC Montréal, CDL-Montréal capitalizes on its vast scientific and business network and the expertise of its faculty. Over the past 5 years, 130 MBA students have taken part in the program as part of a credit course, supporting startups by helping them put together business plans and with human resources management, finance, marketing and other activities.

“With its longstanding expertise in data science, its multilingual and multicultural context and its impressive network boasting partners around the globe, HEC Montréal offers an ideal environment for a program like CDL-Montréal. Its success is one of the most convincing examples of how the School can create valuable connections between the academic, business and scientific communities,” adds HEC Montréal Director Federico Pasin. 

Financial partners

CDL-Montréal relies on the involvement of public- and private-sector financial partners, many of which have been with us since the very beginning: National Bank, BMO, Espace CDPQ, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, Power Corporation of Canada, RBC Royal Bank and SCALE AI.

Learn more about the first 5 years of CDL-Montréal 

About the Creative Destruction Lab Montréal

CDL-Montréal was launched in 2017 at the initiative of Executive Education HEC Montréal. The CDL network began at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto and today has 10 sites worldwide, 5 of them in Canada.

All are associated with universities with recognized expertise in different fields, including UBC, Oxford and HEC Paris.