Creative Destruction Lab

Professor Agrawal is the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, a program now featured at six different universities in Canada and the US. It is a seed-stage program for science-based companies that has been massively successful in creating equity for its participants. 

Professor Agrawal is the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, a hugely influential program helping see-stage science-based startups to succeed through access to mentorship and capital. Its slogans include “scale your tech startup” and “build something massive.”

The CDL, as it is known for short, is a program that began in 2012 at the University of Toronto with the aim of achieving $50 million in equity for its startups by 2017. During that time, it overachieved its goal by a considerable amount, with over $1 billion equity created in its first five years.

Due to its success as a university program at helping raise capital for and increasing the value of tech startups, other universities have formed partnerships with the CDL.

CDL Locations in North America

The CDL now includes the following universities and streams that span the width of Canada and beyond:

Each city has different focuses depending on the university’s needs and the industry specialities of that city. Toronto, for example, is now home to the largest number of AI startups in the world due to the success of the AI program. Recently, CDL-Toronto has also created a world first with its Quantum Machine Learning stream.

The QML stream at CDL-Toronto aims to provide the next generation of AI engineers and startups with access to technical quantum computing and financial resources from D-Wave Systems and Rigetti Computing.

To find out more about the CDL program and how each stream differs at each university, as well as to apply, please visit: