For founders pursuing commercial opportunities that enhance the productivity and livability of cities and neighbourhoods through, for example, the application of machine intelligence to public infrastructure or commercial real estate.

The Cities Stream at CDL-Toronto operates from one of the world’s most diverse cities and a hub of urban innovation. The Stream brings together experienced entrepreneurs, investors, urban planning and construction experts, and scientists active in a range of fields relevant to urban innovation and ‘smart city’ technologies. CDL startups work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research. Participating founders will be connected with urban planners and real estate developers to explore pilot project opportunities.

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.


“CDL has been a great method for connecting with mentors, investors and technical advisors. The program’s flexibility has allowed us focus on what really matters to our team – bringing a strong product in the smart city global market space. The advice and time of mentors has been critical in helping us present our message and introducing us to their broad network. We’re proud to be graduates of the CDL program.”


Colin Yates

Founder of Instantia Labs

CDL-Toronto ’17

Who Should Apply?

The Cities Stream is particularly suited to coachable research teams and startups building urban innovation and smart cities technology. 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.

Contact to discuss the program and your venture with someone from the Cities Stream.  



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 nine-month duration.

Michael Kuhlmann
George Armoyan
Ankit Jain
Dror Nir
Elizabeth Caley
Michael Rapps
Bruce McDonald
Candice Faktor
Jordan Jacobs
Beric Farmer
Michael Pangia
Matt Stevens
Frank Giannone
Tony van Marken

Full list of CDL-Toronto Fellows and Associates  

Our Scientists

Companies accepted into the CDL Cities Stream benefit from periodic advising sessions with scientists and urbanists who are leaders in smart spaces technologies and infrastructure, as well as public and urban innovation policy. These experts meet with companies to evaluate their technologies, suggest improvements, and to explore formal advising engagements.

Steve Mann
Will Strange
Nathaniel Baum-Snow

Full list of CDL-Toronto Scientists  


The Cities Stream operates at CDL-Toronto in Toronto, Canada.  For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email