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For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The AI Stream brings together many of the world’s AI pioneers, including academic researchers, exited entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists at the forefront of investment in AI. CDL startups work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital from visionary investors, and engage with the frontiers of research.

The startups attend five in-person 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.


“We first visited the Lab in the summer of 2015. At that point, we were working out of a shared office, didn’t have any employees, and had only begun the transition from an academic group to a research-driven company. Since then we have raised $4.5m in seed financing, developed a beta version of an early product, and built a 20-person team comprising bioinformaticians, software engineers, and machine-learning experts. The CDL helped us enable this growth.”


Brendan Frey

CEO & Cofounder, Deep Genomics

CDL-Toronto Alumus ’15

Who Should Apply?

The AI Stream is particularly suited to early-stage startups and ambitious teams with strong backgrounds in computer science, computer engineering, statistics, and machine learning.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

  • Deep learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Computer vision

The list above is not exhaustive.

Contact ai@creativedestructionlab.com to discuss the program and your venture with someone from the AI Stream.


CDL Alumni

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, and active angel and venture investors. Mentors meet every eight weeks at the CDL sites in Toronto and Montreal to help founders set objectives over the program’s nine-month duration. Most mentors participate only at a single CDL site; however, some participate at both sites.

Tomi Poutanen
Shivon Zilis
William Tunstall-Pedoe
Geordie Rose
Elizabeth Caley
Patrick Pichette
Barney Pell
Louis Têtu

Full list of AI Mentors  

Our Scientists

Companies accepted to the CDL AI Stream benefit from periodic advising sessions with globally recognized AI researchers affiliated with institutions like the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, and the Institute for Data Valorization. Scientists meet with companies to evaluate their technologies, suggest improvements, and explore formal advising engagements.

Yoshua Bengio
Ruslan Salakhutdinov
Joëlle Pineau
Richard Zemel

Full list of AI Scientists  


The AI Stream operates three annual cohorts, one at CDL-Toronto, one at CDL-Montreal and one at CDL-Oxford. For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email ai@creativedestructionlab.com.