Creative Destruction Lab - Oxford Student Programme


Experience up close the challenges of building scalable technology-based ventures. #BuildSomethingMassive


The Programme is designed to expose you to the world of entrepreneurship and provide an opportunity to interact with early-stage, science-based companies.

You will work with technical founders admitted to the Creative Destruction Lab Programme (CDL) on bespoke projects. We provide a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial ecosystem by allowing you to observe otherwise hidden interactions between founders, mentors, investors and other stakeholders. You then apply and make practical use of the foundational academic concepts you learned in your core classes.

We work with startups that employ innovations in technology that promise a chance of delivering massive improvements to economic productivity and human welfare.


Programme outline

Programme components

  • Sessions - Ventures admitted to the programme attend up to ​four CDL-Oxford sessions, spread approximately eight weeks apart. You will observe these interactions between mentors and ventures.
  • Debriefs - ​You will meet with the stream moderators and the team to debrief the sessions.
  • Tutorials - You will be assigned a tutor and receive tutoring throughout the project timeline.
  • Workshop - You will be introduced to the concept of storytelling in business.

Venture consulting projects

The academic learning is augmented with experiential learning. The project will focus on supporting the venture with developing their business narrative.

You learn to apply business concepts in real-world settings, in real-time.

By working with the ventures and observing the sessions, you will be exposed to essential higher-level management skills.



  • 1 September - Applications open
  • 2 October - Applications close 


Selection and onboarding

All applications are reviewed by two independent reviewers.

  • 3-12 October - Applications reviewed
  • 12 October - Application outcomes
  • 28 October - Onboarding 

2021/22 Cohort statistics


Cohort size


Applications received


Projects delivered by student teams

50 hours

Average time spent on projects


Internships offered


'CDL was an absolute highlight of the MBA. It was the right blend of practice and theory- the chance to work directly with startups and founders, the opportunity to hear from VCs and advisers, and the workshops with mentors and professors all balanced each other for an ideal immersion experience.'

Daniel Bu | 2021/22 MBA Candidate 

CDL removed the mystery of the pitching process and the investor/mentor deliberations. By the end, I felt confident that I could conceivably one day either be a founder or a mentor myself.

Lily Elsner

2020 MBA Graduate

'For anyone looking to go into entrepreneurship or work with a start-up, CDL is for you! As a student on this programme, having to observe the interactions with the vastly experienced mentors and ventures helped me understand the pitfalls, risks, and opportunities to look out for as an entrepreneur; these learnings were scalable, regardless of sector.'

Ishaq Bolarinwa | 2021/22 MBA Candidate

The CDL programme was a great way to dive into the world of highly innovative, early-stage start-ups and to be inspired by a whole ecosystem that makes life-changing innovations possible.

Alaa Baazaoui

DPhil Student, Division of Structural Biology, University of Oxford