Canada Invests $25 Million into the Creative Destruction Lab

Canada’s scale-up community is growing just as quickly as its technology industry, and a new announcement from the federal government is helping to solidify that claim even further.

The Government of Canada has announced a $25 million investment into the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). The new investment will help create and maintain 125 jobs and attract further investments in Canadian businesses.

The CDL is a non-profit organization based out of the University of Toronto that combines science-based ideas and projects with entrepreneurs as well as funding and business experts to offer a scale-up environment designed to create jobs and products that will push the boundaries of Canadian technology. Some of Canada’s most recognizable tech companies have been a part of CDL, including Deep Genomics, Thalmic Labs, and Trexo Robotics. The CDL also recently launched a space cohort focused on expanding into the rapidly growing sector.

“Creative Destruction Lab’s exciting project promises to unleash a new wave of start-up innovation across Canada, creating thousands of middle-class jobs and further securing Canada’s position as a world leader in the AI field,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Our government is proud to make investments that will help turn hundreds of innovative ideas into the good jobs and companies of tomorrow.”

creative destruction lab
Navdeep Bains announcing the investment at CDL Toronto.

The investment comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund which was outlined in the 2018 budget to “to support larger projects that can lead to significant job creation and shared prosperity for Canadians.” In total, the CDL can touch more than 1,300 ventures across the country with this new money, which could in turn help create up to 22,000 new jobs.

“The Creative Destruction Lab was founded in 2012 to address a failure in the market for judgment,” said Sonia Sennik, CDL’s executive director. “First-time founders of science-based companies, while fully committed to the success of their venture and possessing deep knowledge in their technical domain, often lack the business judgment required to prioritize among the almost infinite list of to-dos required to successfully build and scale their business. Our structured and rigorous program helps them with that prioritization process.”

“While we fully leverage market forces to provide prioritization guidance from individuals who themselves have built successfully scaled businesses, the coordination of those market forces requires non-market support. That is why we are so grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting our mission that will drive economic impact and create jobs, learning opportunities, and global leadership for deep-tech and science-based companies across Canada,” said Sennik.

Beyond the original Toronto location, the CDL has locations in Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Calgary, always operating out of a university. Since being launched six years ago,m the CDL has supported 225 science-based ventures, creating over 1,100 jobs.