Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) are injecting $4 million into the Creative Destruction Lab Montreal (CDL-Montreal), which helps innovators transition from science projects to high-growth companies. The CDL-Montreal was unveiled last spring, and on December 15th the first cohort, entirely made up of artificial intelligence startups will enter the program.
More than 200 new businesses have submitted their applications; half of them are based abroad (e.g. the United States, Spain, England). Of these, 28 were selected to be part of the first cohort. The vast majority already have a patent or are in the process of obtaining one. Their average financing has reached $900,000. Entrepreneurs who have pursued doctoral studies head most of these startups.
This year’s program runs until June 2018. During this time the startups in the program will receive objectives-based coaching led by experienced entrepreneurs, representatives of major investment funds and world-class scientists, with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation. Selected applicants will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), whose teams, including researcher Yoshua Bengio, are recognized internationally for their work in data science, operational research and AI.
"The CDL-Montreal program represents a stimulant challenge not only for our startup companies but also for all the partners involved in this innovative project," said Fil Papich, Co-Head BMO Capital Markets, Quebec. "HEC Montréal's commitment to building bridges between BMO and the top emerging technology companies provides us with a valuable perspective on providing products and services that enable technology entrepreneurs to accomplish their business ventures."
“This is our moment to emerge as an international AI powerhouse and nurturing the Canadian startup ecosystem will help us do so,” says Dr. Foteini Agrafioti, head, Borealis AI and chief science officer, RBC. “By partnering with the Creative Destruction Lab and investing in their Montreal location, we want to ensure startups in the region find the network of support and resources they need to compete on the global stage where they belong.”
The CDL-Montreal is the result of a partnership between HEC Montréal and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a premier seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies. The CDL is neither an incubator nor an accelerator: it is a program which supports the most promising fledgling business enterprises by offering support from mentor investors, investment funds, and AI and data science leaders. Furthermore, specially selected MBA students will assist these startups with their business plans, with a possible emphasis on human resources, marketing, finance and administration according to each venture’s needs..
Launched in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program has expanded globally with locations in Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary), Montreal (HEC Montréal) Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University) and New York (New York University Stern School of Business). The Creative Destruction Lab is a unique program for massively scalable technology-based ventures.
Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $709 billion as of July 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have approximately 81,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.
RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. For more information please see: www.rbc.com/community-sustainability/.