For founders pursuing commercial opportunities that leverage the coevolution taking place between new technologies for prediction (AI) and verification (blockchain).

The Blockchain Incubator Stream at CDL-Toronto is a 10-month program which gives blockchain founders personalized mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, investors and a community of visionaries in the fields of blockchain and artificial intelligence — including Anthony Lacavera, Richard Titus, Boris Wertz and more. Founders are also eligible for up to USD$100K in investment, office space in Toronto and intensive technical training from industry and academic leaders in AI, blockchain and crypto-economics.


Startups must attend a two-week bootcamp in Toronto in August 2019 and five in-person objective-setting sessions in Toronto between October 2019 and June 2020.

Learn more about the CDL program.


“Joining the Blockchain stream of the CDL has had a huge impact on the success of ZED Network. The program is a platform for us to connect with investors and network with other startups facing the same challenges. Through CDL’s mentorship program and support from respected investors such as Anthony Lacavera (Globalive) and William Tunstall-Pedoe, we have been able to set and achieve goals that will take our business through launch and beyond. I would encourage all Blockchain ventures to apply: the CDL will change your trajectory.”


Alan Safahi

CEO, ZED Network Inc.

How Does The Program Work?

Every two months, companies have a boardroom-style meeting with CDL Mentors to garner feedback and set objectives that hold the Founders accountable for the next meeting. Mentors build a stronger relationship with founders by having continuous touch points and develop a deeper understanding of their businesses — allowing them to provide better strategic guidance.

Who Should Apply?

The CDL Blockchain Incubator Stream is suited to creative, intelligent, and ambitious individuals and teams with strong backgrounds in machine learning, mathematics, statistics, cryptography, or blockchain. The program’s focus is on early-stage companies (pre-seed) or existing teams (pre-incorporation). Applications focused purely on crypto-currencies will not be considered for this Incubator Stream. All programming and training is conducted in English and takes place in Toronto, Canada.

Example Innovation Areas

  • Intelligent smart-contract applications
  • Data marketplaces on the blockchain to enable predictions
  • Blockchain for data privacy and selective disclosure

The list above is not exhaustive.

Contact to discuss the Incubator Stream with a Blockchain staff member.

Representative CDL Alumni

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, and active angel and venture investors. Mentors meet every eight weeks in Toronto to help founders set objectives over the program’s 10-month duration.

Anthony Lacavera
Boris Wertz
Ben Goertzel
William Tunstall-Pedoe

Full list of CDL-Toronto Fellows and Associates  

Our Scientists

Teams accepted to the CDL Blockchain Incubator Stream benefit from extensive advising sessions and regular office hours with AI and cryptography researchers and with economists who are experts in market-design. These experts help to evaluate approaches to building technology, suggest improvements, and to explore formal advising engagements.

Joshua Gans
Christian Catalini

Incubator Stream Features

The Blockchain Incubator Stream offers a robust set of resources for new founders to use to launch and scale a startup.

  • Crypto-Marketplace Bootcamp – This Bootcamp focuses on crypto-economics and innovations in market design by world renowned economists.
  • Business Guidance and Investor Access – Five objective-setting meetings with CDL Fellows and Associates, a group of highly successful entrepreneurs and investors with expertise in scaling high-tech startups.
  • Pre-seed Capital – Pre-seed investment from Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms.
  • Platform Support – Product development support from leading blockchain platform providers.
  • Access to Scientists – Technology development advice from leading AI, cryptocurrency, and blockchain scientists.
  • Business Support – Business development support from top ranked MBAs at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
  • Co-working Space – Access to space for business, product, and community development.



The Blockchain Incubator Stream operates one annual cohort at CDL-Toronto. Participating founders are strongly encouraged to relocate to Toronto, Canada in order to take advantage of the Incubator Stream features.   For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email  




By 2023, the CDL will have produced more well-capitalized, revenue-generating intelligent-contract-based crypto companies than the rest of the world combined. The majority of these companies will be based in Canada.

Common Questions

What are the technical skills and knowledge prerequisites for the Incubator Stream?

Technical participants with a qualification in machine learning, math, statistics, and cryptography are preferred. Strong background in computer science with an expertise in languages such as C++, Javascript, Python, and Solidity is an asset.

Do participants need to be in Toronto for the duration of the program?

Participants must be in Toronto for the Crypto-Marketplace bootcamp from July 18 to August 2, and for the group sessions with CDL mentors in October 2019, December 2019, February 2020, April 2020, and June 2020. You are strongly encouraged to live in Toronto for the rest of the program to best make use of CDL resources, to work through problems with the technical team, and to have rich interactions with the city’s bubbling AI and blockchain ecosystems.

How does the investment work?

Companies must decide whether to opt in or out of the pre-seed investment at the outset of the program. Those that opt in and obtain approval for their business proposals will receive US$100k for 6% equity, split into two tranches. The first $50k will be distributed in September 2019, and the second $50k after companies successfully pass the third CDL session in February 2020. Companies that do not pass the third session will receive $50k for 3% equity.

I have a background in machine learning, statistics, or cryptography, and an idea to build a blockchain and AI product but don’t have a startup or team. Can you introduce me to others in the program?

Yes, we will accept individuals with strong domain knowledge and business ideas. Submit an application, and a CDL team member will contact you.

I’m not Canadian. Can I still apply?

Yes. Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa. CDL may, at its own discretion, provide access to immigration support services, and provide supporting documentation as requested by the IRCC and other Canadian agencies. The Creative Destruction Lab takes no responsibility for an applicant being granted visa and/or work permit status in Canada.