Apply to the CDL program

CDL Cancer is a program for founders commercializing technologies that will change the standard of cancer care and improve patient outcomes.

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 mission of the CDL Cancer program is to confront the escalating global incidence of cancer by championing the commercialization of technologies that will enable the future of personalized cancer care at scale, while enhancing access and reducing healthcare costs worldwide. This stream is tailored towards early-stage companies (pre-seed to seed), 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.

Example Innovation Areas

We encourage founders working on advanced technologies in key innovation areas such as biomarker discovery, personalized medicine, and early detection of cancers to apply. Other innovation areas include:

Research: Identification of new biomarkers, disease modeling systems, spatial biology methods, in-silico modeling or simulation techniques, target identification, tumour drivers and tools to enable a systems-biology approach to cancer.

Detection & Diagnostics: Liquid biopsy technologies, utilization of novel biomarkers for early detection, opportunistic screening, AI tools for radiology or pathology analysis, risk stratification methods, companion diagnostics.

Treatments & Therapies: Immuno-oncology, ADCs, novel small molecules, cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses, drug delivery techniques, tumour targeting & penetration, computational drug discovery, tumour micro-environment (TME) targeting.

Care Delivery: Prognostic biomarkers, personalized treatment plan building tools, AI for treatment efficacy prediction, treatment monitoring, recurrence prediction, hospital softwares and care team coordination tools.

Clinical Trial Improvements: Technologies, algorithms, and software capable of monitoring biological indicators to improve therapeutic outcomes and clinical trials, improving clinical trial enrollment, improving statistical significance for trial outcomes and rare diseases, synthetic data, virtual patient cohorts.

Access & Cost Improvements: Technologies that can improve access to high quality care for all populations, tools that can reduce the cost and financial burden of cancer care.

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 exited entrepreneurs, world-class scientists, active investors (VCs and angels), and key opinion leaders (clinicians, regulators, industry experts) to help guide the early-stage cancer startups in the program.

The program also prioritizes including cancer patients in conversations with early-stage startups to help align technology development with the real-world needs and unique lived experiences of those it aims to serve.

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

Applications are now open!