Creative Destruction Lab

Programme overview


The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a seed-stage programme for massively scalable, science-based companies.

The 9-month programme pairs founders with experienced entrepreneurs and investors to set focused, measurable objectives with the goal of maximising equity-value creation. Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the programme has now expanded with locations in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Oxford and Vancouver.



With CDL we are taking the next step to support world-class scientific research and innovation across the UK and Europe.

Dean Peter Tufano

Saïd Business School

Creative Destruction Lab: Build Something Massive

CDL video


People collaborating

CDL-Oxford is located at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

The first CDL site in Europe, CDL-Oxford maximises the probability of success for science and technology-based startups from across the globe. Housed at one of the leading universities in the world, CDL-Oxford also leverages its close proximity to London, a global epicenter of innovation.

The 9-month programme includes 4 full-day, on-site sessions focused on objective setting, and culminates in a 'Super Session' that brings together the most promising ventures from across all CDL sites.

CDL-Oxford currently offers the Artificial Intelligence Stream, which supports startups predicated on the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Applications for the Artificial Intelligence Stream will re-open in April 2020.


CDL gives business founders and MBA students an opportunity to engage with highly successful entrepreneurs and scientists and learn from their judgment.

Ajay Agrawal

Creative Destruction Lab Founder & Professor

CDL alumni

Since its inception in 2012, companies that have participated in the CDL programme have created over £2 billion in equity value. CDL Alumni include North (Waterloo), Atomwise (San Francisco), Deep Genomics (Toronto), Automat (Montreal), Kyndi (Palo Alto) and Heuritech (Paris).


This innovative Hub – the first in Europe – will help our start-ups get the support they need to take their ideas to market and scale up their businesses.

Chris Skidmore

UK Science and Innovation Minister