Creative Destruction Lab expands to the West Coast

The Creative Destruction Lab, considered the world’s premier seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies, has announced an expansion of its program from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

Called Creative Destruction Lab-West (CDL-West), the new accelerator will use the methodology established by the Creative Destruction Lab at Rotman, which employs an objectives-based mentoring process led by highly accomplished entrepreneurs and angel investors. The goal of this specialized program is to maximize the equity value creation of its ventures. The lab is currently running two programs – one for general technology companies and a second for machine learning and artificial intelligence-enabled companies. Both focus on recruiting founders with a deep scientific expertise.

“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,” says Rachel Harris, director of the Creative Destruction Lab.

The inaugural program at CDL-West will focus on high technology ventures based in Western Canada with a call for applications in October and the start of the program in January 2017.

Angel Lab: Latest accelerator at U of T launches at St. Mike’s

A new U of T initiative – Angel Lab – aims to help student startups with a focus on social justice.

The University of St. Michael’s College launched Angel Lab this month with an event held at Brennan Hall.

St. Mike’s hopes the initiative will help students create new startups with a focus matching the college’s vision.

“It comes out of our mission as a Catholic institution around our ongoing commitment to social justice,” said Professor Randy Boyagoda, principal and vice-president of St. Mike’s. “I’m confident that the creativity, speed and ambition involved with startup culture and methodology will provide our students with a distinct new platform to take their ideas for social change beyond the classroom and make a meaningful difference in the world.

“In this way, Angel Lab will help demonstrate how our mission is relevant in the 21st Century.”

Toronto startup’s hyperloop technology makes a splash at Berlin trade show

If the hyperloop technology on display at this year’s InnoTrans, the rail industry’s Berlin-based biennial trade show, includes a bit more Canada than expected, there’s a reason for that.

TransPod, a Toronto-based startup that was initially formed to meet Elon Musk’s model hyperloop challenge, but has since moved onto the larger goal of using its nascent technology to create a 30-minute link between Hogtown and Montreal, unveiled the full concept for its hyperloop pod in Germany this week.

The company has released two videos – one labelling the exterior, the other illustrating multiple interior concepts – and is now seeking funding to build a working model, which it hopes to reveal at the next InnoTrans in 2018.

Three startups to watch from Demo Day at U of T Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery

A robotic exoskeleton for children with physical disabilities; an electronic “smart skin” that helps surgeons avoid errors; a system for earlier cancer detection — these are just a few of the U of T Engineering innovations featured at last Thursday’s Hatchery Demo Day.

A total of 14 student teams pitched their business ideas to a panel of expert judges as part of the Dragons’ Den-style event, hosted annually by The Entrepreneurship Hatchery, a startup accelerator at U of T Engineering. Competitors were vying for a share of $32,500 in seed funding and the attention of potential investors.

“Thank you to all of the teams for your energy, your passion, and for being hungry,” said Joseph Orozco, executive director of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery in his opening remarks. “You are the future.”

Demo Day is the culmination of The Hatchery’s intensive summer program, where student teams work with experienced mentors — including executives, lawyers, medical professionals and engineers — to develop their business ideas and competencies. They receive detailed feedback and guidance on everything from patent applications and incorporation to honing their pitches and building prototypes, which they create using 3D printers and other fabrication resources provided by The Hatchery.