Apply to the CDL program

CDL Cancer is a unique program for seed-stage companies commercializing cancer research.

The CDL Cancer program, in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, is a 9-month startup program offered across CDL-Toronto (Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto) and CDL-Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia). Beginning in October and concluding in May, this unique CDL-Global stream brings together global leaders and experts across the cancer care continuum to support technology innovations that improve the cancer experience globally, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

The program includes 4 objective-setting sessions to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.

Who Should Apply?

The Cancer program is ideal for founders working to commercialize new tools, techniques or products that enable better research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, access, care delivery, treatment and/or offer a potential cure for any cancer. CDL Cancer will also accept technologies or platforms that improve patient quality of life during and after treatment. This stream is tailored towards early-stage companies (pre-seed to seed) or even projects (pre-incorporation); however, startups at all levels of maturity with cutting edge technological innovations in the cancer space will be considered. While the program is offered at CDL-Toronto and CDL-Vancouver, there are no geographical restrictions to the application and any cancer company globally can apply.

CDL Cancer Technology/Industry Applications


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Cancer risk prediction tools
  • Opportunistic screening

Digital Health

  • Care delivery
  • Patient navigation
  • Patient stratification
  • Survivorship
  • Synthetic biopsies

Care Access & Equity

  • Empowering local care providers
  • Care team coordination
  • Point-of-care screening innovations


  • Omics: Bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics
  • Liquid biopsies
  • ctDNA & cfDNA screens
  • Tumor modeling & model systems
  • AI-empowered imaging


  • Treatment optimization & selection
  • Multimodal disease classification
  • Digital Twins for treatment development and selection
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Novel drug-delivery systems
  • Immunotherapies
  • Companion diagnostics & treatment monitoring

Our Mentors

Mentors are the backbone of the Creative Destruction Lab program because they provide expert guidance for early-stage technology companies to grow and improve their probability of success. CDL brings together experienced exited entrepreneurs, world-class scientists, and active investors (VCs and angels) with early-stage technology startups to help guide companies.

Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish healthy public policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever.

“This joint venture with the Creative Destruction Lab is the beginning of a major new chapter for CCS; accelerating the translation of existing research excellence to new products and services for cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. Bringing in the expertise and network of the Creative Destruction Lab can instantly kick start and accelerate the process. I am excited to see two great organizations coming together to translate university research.”

Dr. Chen Fong

Co-founder, Pureweb Inc. | Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary | Co-Chair, Strategic Advisory Board, Creative Destruction Lab

To contact a representative and learn more about how the Cancer Stream can benefit your company, please send an email to

Apply to the CDL program

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