Apply to the CDL program

For founders using machine intelligence, IoT, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, new materials, and novel approaches to workforce augmentation to solve problems in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing stream at CDL-Seattle admits an annual cohort of pre-Seed and pre-Series A startups. The program brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists with expertise building scalable companies in a variety of fields related to manufacturing innovation. CDL startups work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, build networks and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.

Manufacturers operate today in increasingly complex and uncertain environments where the costs and availability of factor inputs may shift rapidly, demand for customized products and requisite agility in production processes is on the rise, and a scarcity in technical talent to run manufacturing tools and systems combine to open the door for digital transformation and disruption. CDL-Seattle will support founders who are capitalizing on these trends by building scalable businesses.

The startups attend five objective-setting sessions between October and June. CDL is a non-profit organization. There are no fees for participation and CDL does not take any equity. Learn more about the CDL program.

All CDL Alumni Companies ▶︎

Who Should Apply?

The Manufacturing Stream is particularly suited to founders who aim to transform the way that companies manufacture, improve, and distribute their products through the use of new technologies and digitization. This stream is tailored towards early-stage companies (early venture or growth) or even projects (pre-incorporation); however, startups at all levels of maturity will be considered.

Example Innovation Areas

  • Additive Manufacturing: Computer controlled processes that create three dimensional objects by depositing materials in layers allowing for the production of lighter, more complex designs that are too expensive or too difficult to produce using traditional manufacturing techniques.
  • Advanced Materials: Biomanufacturing involving the use of biological systems to produce biomaterials for applications in medicine, industry, food production and other areas; Design and production of novel materials, including through nano-engineering, with a range of useful properties including those related to thermal or electrical conductivity, ability to self-repair, adaptive response, energy harvesting and storage, embedded structural health monitoring and others.
  • Industrial IoT: Transformation of manufacturing systems by enabling communication and data-sharing within and across manufacturing systems in real-time. Includes advances in connected hardware, sensor technology, programmable logic controller (PLC) automation, integration of manufacturing execution systems, asset performance management, and other approaches to connectivity-driven monitoring, maintenance, automation, energy management, and supply chain optimization. May also include precision location, built environment, and ultra wideband technology.
  • Machine Intelligence: Incorporation of machine learning into production processes to reduce errors, improve overall quality of products, and to predict machine failures and other anomalies.
  • Robotics: Implementation of a wide range of robotic solutions in manufacturing processes including robots that are capable of automating tasks requiring collaboration with humans, mobility, and high-precision work including but limited to picking and manipulation.
  • Simulation Tools: Software tools and platforms enabling the design and testing of prototypes in a virtual environment prior to physical production including via digital twins.
  • Workforce Augmentation: Products and platforms aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing.

The list above is not exhaustive. Contact to discuss the program and your venture with someone from the Manufacturing Stream.

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, active angel and venture investors, world-leading scientists, engineers, and economists. Mentors meet every eight weeks in Seattle to help founders set objectives over the program’s nine-month duration.

Companies accepted to the CDL Manufacturing Stream benefit from meeting with these mentors periodically to evaluate their technologies, suggest improvements, and to explore formal advising engagements.

See all Manufacturing mentors ▶︎

“The pandemic combined with climate change and the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape are likely to have a force-multiplier effect that will enable a time of unprecedented change in all aspects of where and how things are made. CDL Manufacturing represents an amazing opportunity to take the great work that has been done to create the technologies that fall under the Industry 4.0 umbrella and deploy them as feedstock for startups focused on solving the problems of the future.”

Scott Schiller

Former VP and Global Head of Market Development for HP 3D Printing

“The digital transformation of the manufacturing sector is long overdue. We’re excited to apply Creative Destruction Lab’s proven methods to this critical sector,”

Rob Meyerson

Former President of Blue Origin and Founder and CEO of Delalune Space

Apply to the CDL program

For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email

Applications are now open!