Commercialization education sessions give Vector researchers a chance to connect with and hear from experienced industry specialists on a range of topics, including venture capital, contract law, intellectual property and AI, patent eligibility, and entrepreneurship.


A brief overview of the business mentorship program for innovators offered by the Creative Destruction Lab, including a collection of stories of some of the academic teams that have gone through the CDL program and successfully commercialized their cutting-edge science and technology.

What is the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL)?:

CDL is a non-profit business mentorship program for early-stage deep tech startups/spinouts. The program launched out of the University of Toronto in 2012 to help scientist founders access highly successful entrepreneurs and investors to get feedback on how to build massively scalable companies. We now work with 675 pre-seed to seed stage ventures every year. Our Artificial Intelligence stream at Toronto is now entering its 6th year.

Why the Creative Destruction Lab?:

The program's value is (1) the quality and breadth of our mentors; entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, and economists with experience successfully building, scaling, and investing in technology-based companies, (2) the program's focus on objective setting, which helps focus energy on the most important things to accomplish, (3) the relationship with our business school, which provides admitted ventures access to top MBAs, and (4) the network effects of engaging a high-quality community of likeminded tech entrepreneurs and investors (the rest of the cohort as well as the international community).

Cost of CDL?:

As a non-profit, we do not charge fees or require equity to participate. The currency at CDL is time; your time for the mentor's time.

Who is a fit for the program?:

Researchers looking to commercialize innovations at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or above (i.e., you have at least preliminary data to prove your tech can capture/create value, or can do something faster, better, cheaper, etc.,). Best fit teams have at least 1 full-time person (or equivalent) with ambitions to make a massively scalable company who are hungry for the collective knowledge from experienced entrepreneurs to help make prudent business decisions at the outset of their technology-based venture.


Mathew Platt, PhD, Associate Director, Global Head of Venture Recruitment, CDL-Global,
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Mathew is an academic by training who received his PhD in Human Health from the University of Guelph in 2019. He started a career pivot from academia towards commercialization when he joined the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) in February 2020 as a Venture Manager in their Health stream. While with CDL-Toronto, Mathew recruited over 75 startups to the CDL program, reviewed over 500 deep tech startup applications, and worked directly with 35 health ventures spanning devices to diagnostics to drug discovery/development. In January of 2023, Mathew started a new role at CDL-Global as the Head of Venture Recruitment, overseeing the identification, engagement, and selection of early-stage science and technology-based ventures worldwide.

Open to SMEs that have signed up for Vector’s Fastlane Program. Open to current and former Vector researchers, Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence recipients, students and alumni from Vector-recognized master’s programs, students of Vector Faculty Affiliates, Vector Interns, and Vector Postgraduate Affiliates. Your registration will be cancelled if you do not meet this criterion.