Creative Destruction Lab

Our entrepreneur-coaches include the founders of Kik, Kobo, D-Wave and Moon Express. When working with CDL program participants to set objectives, CDL coaches draw upon their own experiences in designing products, building teams, growing revenues, and raising capital.

What we offer

Objective-setting in eight-week increments by coaches who are experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

Workshops with expert faculty from the Rotman School of Management and hands-on support from MBA students with state-of-the-art training

Legal and accounting expert counsel from Canada’s most established firms such as Osler and KPMG

Capital: Companies that consistently achieve their objectives often attract investment from coaches, which usually triggers further investment from institutional and private investors.


Barney Pell, Founder, Moon Express


Shivon Zilis, Partner at Bloomberg Beta

Who can apply

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. Companies that focus on machine learning or artificial intelligence can apply to our specialized machine learning (ML) stream, which runs in parallel with the general program.


“The breadth and depth of insight that we were given access to was phenomenal.”

– Karl Martin
 Founder, Nymi



Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto


CDL West
UBC Sauder School of Business
University of British Columbia


Common questions

I am already associated with a different incubator or accelerator. Can I still apply?

Yes, many of our ventures are also associated with other programs. Due to the unique nature of our objectives-based mentoring, the CDL program is complementary to other programs.

Do you take equity or charge fees?

No, the CDL does not charge fees or take equity from participating companies. We require that founders accepted into the program commit to engaging with the CDL community and paying forward the effort we put into helping them succeed by assisting the next generation of CDL entrepreneurs.

Do I have to move my venture to Toronto or Vancouver?

No, we encourage ventures to continue to operate from wherever they feel will give them the best chance of success.

When does the program begin?

Programs begin in September (Toronto) and January (Vancouver).

How many ventures are admitted?

In Autumn 2016, the Toronto program accepted 75 companies — 50 in the machine learning stream and 25 in the general stream. Vancouver will admit 25 in the general stream starting January 2017.

Can I apply to more than one stream or more than one location?

Yes, companies can apply for multiple locations and streams.

Is my venture at the right stage to apply?

Most ventures accepted to the program have developed a working prototype of their product/service or are close to doing so. Most have not raised a full seed round, although some have raised a pre-seed round. We encourage founders who are not sure if they are at the right stage to contact us for more information.

Apply to the Creative Destruction Lab

Applications Closed for 2016-2017

More information