The Oxford home of the global network Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) has expanded to include Climate and FinTech.
Tackling some of our biggest global challenges, the stand-alone Climate programme, or stream, is aimed at founders with science and deep-tech innovations that address the important issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss. The new stream supports commercially driven ventures with a positive impact on climate and sustainability.
The inaugural cohort of climate ventures have been selected from across the UK and Europe, with particular focus on reducing carbon emissions, areas including energy, mobility, new materials and manufacturing, future of food and carbon capture.
The new FinTech stream will work with ventures that are bringing the AI revolution to the financial sector. Leveraging the Said Business School’s expertise in Fintech and its proximity to London, the epicentre of the global finance industry. The FinTech stream will focus on areas including: embedded finance; financial wellness and access; future of data science and regulation. CDL-Oxford ventures enrolled on the new stream will benefit from mentorship with expert leaders in FinTech and receive opportunities to raise capital from angels and VCs from Europe and North America.
Thomas Hellmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Site Lead for CDL-Oxford, adds: 'The choice of adding Climate and Fintech to our programmes was very deliberate. These are two areas where we see not only strong commercial potential, but also significant societal impact. Climate is clearly a global challenge, and we will be working with our partner sites in France and Canada to bring together a global network of mentors and exports. As for FinTech, this is not only of strategic importance to the UK, it also affects the future of commerce, not to mention the well-being of millions of people.'
The Creative Destruction Lab is an objective-based mentorship programme that aims to enhance the prosperity of humankind through the rapid scaling of science and technology companies. One of ten sites globally, CDL-Oxford launched in 2019 as the first site in Europe. Based at Oxford Saïd Business School, CDL-Oxford harnesses the convening power of a world class University to bring together a leading community of mentors, world class scientists and postgraduate business students.
This year eighty ventures have been selected onto CDL-Oxford across four streams: AI, Climate, FinTech and Health, and over the next nine months founders will be guided by experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and respected industry leaders. Mentors commit their valuable time and expertise to set ventures achievable and measurable objectives to bring their innovations to market.
Sarah Barratt Ball, Director of CDL-Oxford said: 'Our global uniting goal across our CDL network, is to work with massively scalable, seed stage ventures, for the benefit of humankind. It has been a pleasure to also scale our own endeavours within CDL-Oxford over the past two years, to more than double the size of our team with invaluable financial support from our key philanthropic and corporate partners, in order to expand to four streams. Engaging more scientists and ventures from around the UK and beyond, under the guidance and wisdom of our incredible mentor community, all the while exposing our post grad students to the stark and exciting realities of entrepreneurial business.'
An integral part of the CDL programme includes engagement with students. CDL-Oxford has admitted over 100 Oxford Saïd students onto the 2021/22 programme, which gives students a unique opportunity to work on consulting projects with technical founders. Students are exposed to the world of entrepreneurship and the value of mentorship to experience up close the challenges of building scalable technology-based ventures.
Alongside the venture programme, CDL-Oxford offers an inspiring Senior School Girls programme aimed to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs in STEM. CDL-Oxford invites students aged 16-18 to attend a one day influencing immersion experience, bringing together curious and ambitious students.