Haskayne School of Business launches Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies

The acclaimed 'high-impact innovation network' will see its first cohort start the program in fall 2017.

One of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurial initiatives for university students is coming to Calgary. The Creative Destruction Lab is a seed stage program for massively scalable science-based ventures that launched from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management in 2012 with a goal of $50 million in equity value creation in five years. It has already exceeded $1 billion.

On Thursday, Rotman announced three new locations for the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) program, including the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, which will be called Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies.

CDL is laser-focused on designing goals with measurable deliverables. CDL – Rockies will provide startups with mentorship from some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, guidance and support from chief scientists, expert faculty members and MBA students, as well as access to equity capital.

“We are proud to be joining the CDL program,” shares Haskayne prof Michael Robinson, director, CDL – Rockies. “It will greatly enhance the educational experience for our students, will act as a key development resource for science-based ventures within and outside of our university, and will lead to greater economic development within Canada.”

Haskayne will join the Rotman School of Management, UBC Sauder School of Business, Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University, and HEC Montréal in hosting this world-class program. The first cohort at Haskayne will start the program in September 2017.

“The University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub and aspires to be Canada’s most entrepreneurial university in the country’s most enterprising city,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon. “We are thrilled to host the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies. This is an incredible opportunity for our students and will also have a significant impact on our community, the province and beyond.”

To be selected into the CDL family, schools need to have the financial support from their communities. For CDL – Rockies, the supporters include Richard (Dick) Haskayne, the BURNCO Family Foundation, and the Hunter Family Foundation represented by Derrick Hunter, who have already signed on as founding partners.

The University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business will also be involved in CDL – Rockies by having faculty members act as expert advisers and as a link to other strong researchers on their campus.

Brandon Lee, Canada’s consul general for San Francisco and Silicon Valley, describes CDL as “one of the most exciting things happening within Canada’s innovation ecosystem. 

“We’re seeing Silicon Valley investors coming to Canada to get first access to the startups graduating from the program. Seeing the University of Calgary partner with our best Canadian universities under the CDL brand helps create the kind of high-impact innovation network the Government of Canada encourages as this is helping put Canada on the global map,” says Lee.

The Haskayne School of Business has a strong culture of entrepreneurship education developed through the activities of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The CDL – Rockies program will enhance educational opportunities and unleash the potential of Haskayne MBA students by connecting them with these technology startups and assisting them with refining their strategies, developing business plans, identifying and pursuing potential customers, and seeking external financing.



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