UBC’s Sauder School of Business is set to open Creative Destruction Lab – West, an offshoot of the successful Creative Destruction Lab incubator based in the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, aimed at cultivating and commercializing early-stage ventures begun in a university research context.
Opening its first call for applications in October for a program start in January 2017, the Lab’s initial focus will be on two programs, one for general technology companies and a second for machine learning and artificial intelligence-enabled companies, with an emphasis on recruiting founders with deep scientific expertise.
“Creative Destruction Lab – West will provide a much-needed support system to ensure innovations formulated on British Columbia campuses can access the funding they need to scale up and grow in-province,” said Sauder School of Business Dean, Robert Helsley. “The success our partners at Rotman have had in helping commercialize the scientific breakthroughs of Canadian talent is remarkable and is exactly what we plan to replicate at UBC Sauder.”
Launched in 2012, the UofT’s Creative Destruction Lab oversaw the development of companies that generated over $800 million in equity value, including Thalmic Labs, which recently closed a US$120 million Series B round.
The CDL has been home to many other Canadian success stories during their early development phase, including Deep Genomics, Greenlid, Atomwise, Bridgit, Kepler Communications, Nymi, NVBots, OTI Lumionics, PUSH, Vertical.ai, Revlo, Validere, Growsumo, and VoteCompass.
“We created a model for tech venture creation that keeps startups focused on their essential business challenges and dedicated to solving them with world-class support,” says Ajay Agrawal, Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School and the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab.
Working with the BC Tech Association and other partners, CDL-West hopes to build on that success, offering the same level of mentorship, support and access to venture capital to early stage companies originating either within UBC or outside ventures backed by universities in any of the Western provinces.
“By partnering with UBC Sauder, we will magnify the impact of CDL by drawing in ventures from one of the country’s other leading research universities and B.C.’s burgeoning startup scene to further build the country’s tech sector and the opportunities for job creation it provides,” said CDL Director, Rachel Harris.
The CDL-West team will be led by Paul Cubbon, who has a background working at Unilever and is now Leader of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group at the Sauder School of Business.
“By partnering with Rotman, UBC Sauder will be able to scale up its support for high-tech ventures extremely quickly and with tremendous impact,” said Paul Cubbon, Leader of CDL-West and a faculty member at UBC Sauder. “CDL-West will act as a turbo booster for ventures with great ideas, but which lack the strategic roadmap and funding to make them a reality.”
Cubbon will be working with Associate Directors Darrell Kopke and Mark Proudfoot, and their set of CDL-West G7 Fellows, BuildDirect CEO Jeff Booth, Iconica Partners managing director Jeff Mallett, Hyperwallet Systems founder Lisa Shields, and Version One Ventures founder Boris Wertz.
Mallett was founding President, COO and Director of Yahoo! Inc. from 1995-2002, overseeing its growth to $4 billion in revenues and $135 billion valuation. As wells as being Iconica Partners Managing Director, he is also Managing Partner of Mallett Sports & Entertainment, which includes the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park and Mission Rock Development, Comcast Bay Area Sports Network, the San Jose Giants, Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and other sports-related ventures.