Intensive full-day sessions with the CDL Mentors take place every eight weeks with the purpose of assessing progress and setting new short-term objectives. Fellows and Associates provide professional judgment (entrepreneurial knowledge) to help guide CDL Ventures and prioritize actions.
The program is designed for early-stage, science-based technology companies, though we consider all applicants based on their potential to scale and the viability of their product. CDL’s objective-setting process enhances the performance of technical founders who learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their probability of success.
CDL Mentors are made up of a carefully selected group of exited entrepreneurs, angel investors, and partners from leading venture capital firms. These participants often invest in ventures that demonstrate a track record of achieving their objectives.
World-renowned experts from leading academic institutions provide technical feedback to founders and advise the Fellows and Associates on objectives related to technology validation.
Business school students work to support ventures including developing financial models, evaluating potential markets, and fine-tuning strategies for scaling.
CDL Streams act as focus areas: typically an emerging technology area, an area of application where multiple emerging technologies are converging to create new commercial opportunities, or a mission-driven focus. CDL startups work with mentors within a stream to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.
CDL operates five sites in Canada, three in the United States and four in Europe. Launched in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, the program has now expanded with locations in 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).
“The most valuable thing a person has is time, and it is a privilege that the Partners alongside the CDL Mentors have given us their time so that our company could break through to something of value.”
Jackson Wyatt, Morgan Wyatt, Adil Qawi & Armance Bartold
Co-founders of Greenlid
“Through the Lab, we connected with investors who have since become valuable advisers. Having access to the experience and judgment of those who have done this all before has been tremendously helpful.”
CEO and Cofounder, Deep Genomics
“The breadth and depth of insight that we were given access to was phenomenal.”
“When Chen Fong first described CDL and recommended we apply, he did so under the premise that CDL was the most impressive collection of great people he had experienced all together in one place. Now, as graduates of CDL, we would like to reinforce this belief.”
CEO, Cohesic Inc.
The CDL provides an environment within which startups can find the right priorities, be coached into achieving those goals, and parlay those successes into the grit and determination necessary to run the entrepreneurial gauntlet.
Benjamin Alarie, Brett Janssen, Anthony Niblett & Albert Yoon
Blue J Legal