Building the Next Generation of Tech Champions: Ajay Agrawal’s Creative Destruction Lab Expands to Paris
Founded by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School, the Creative Destruction Lab has supported over 1,500 founders from over 30 countries—generating more than 4 billion dollars in equity value. Now, in its partnership with International business school HEC Paris, the CDL is poised to “play a vital role in building the next generation of European deep tech champions.”
“At HEC Paris we embrace the concept ‘Learn to Dare.’ In CDL, HEC sees the opportunity to dare help turn today’s scientific breakthroughs into tomorrow’s world-changing businesses,” said Peter Todd, professor and dean at HEC Paris. The program, which currently operates out of five universities in Canada and Europe, will offer mentorship, technical advice, and funding opportunities in its new location.
Founder Ajay Agrawal describes the CDL as a marketplace for judgement: “The types of founders that join our program are often engineers or scientists. They have deep expertise in their technical domain, but lack business judgment. They are regularly faced with a to-do list of hundreds of things they could be doing to build their business, but don’t have the cycles to do all those things, and so they have to pick from the list. Judgment is the skill of prioritizing the list.”
The initiative will be led by L’Oreal Professor of Entrepreneurship Thomas Asebro and capital investor Micahel Jackson. “CDL has a proven track record of success in helping science-based startups scale,” said Jackson. “I’m thrilled to be part of bringing the program to Paris, where it can play a vital role in building the next generation of European deep tech champions.”
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