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HEC Montréal Launches CDL-Montréal to Develop Data Science Startups

May 19, 2017

HEC Montréal has announced a partnership with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto to create CDL-Montréal. The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a program to support scientific startups with significant growth potential, launched at the Rotman school in 2012.

After expanding to the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, the CDL program is now extending across Canada, through partnerships with the Haskayne school at the University of Calgary and the Rowe school at Dalhousie University, in addition to the one with HEC Montréal.

The CDL program offers 9 months’ mentoring by experienced investors and entrepreneurs for cohorts of young companies. They are assigned objectives they must meet to advance to the next levels. The candidates can also benefit from the scientific expertise of the partner universities.

The implementation of CDL-Montreal will be led by Executive Education HEC Montréal. The first CDL-Montréal cohort will enter the program in December 2017. The Montréal lab will specialize in data science. Projects chosen will be able to count on support from the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) in Montréal, and draw on the Institute’s world-renowned cutting-edge expertise in data science, operational research and artificial intelligence.

As HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry explains, the goal of expanding the CDL program is to pool the efforts of a number of Canadian business schools: “This innovative and unique program will lead to growth and value for the economy of Montréal and Canada as a whole and will help develop international players in the technology sector.”

“We strongly believe in our ability to create new industrial and technological giants, thanks to this Canada-wide CDL program, which can be to artificial intelligence what Apple was to computers and Research in Motion or Nokia were to portable devices,” says Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the HEC Montréal Board of Directors.

To date the pan-Canadian program has enjoyed enormous success, creating over $1 billion in equity value during its first five years. The target is for CDL graduates to create $100-billion in equity value by 2027, and for half of those companies to be Canadian based.


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