Georgia Tech Scheller College’s Spring 2020 Lifelong Learning event featured an in-depth presentation on the new partnership between Toronto-based Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) and Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage science and technology-based companies. The program’s objective-setting process enhances the performance of technical founders who learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their probability of success.
Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program has now expanded to six international locations with each location offering unique streams and resources to support early-stage ventures in scaling. The CDL-Atlanta initiative is the only U.S. based CDL program at present.
The program combines four elements to help companies transition from science projects to scalable and financeable companies: focused mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs who have founded, led, and sold significant tech companies; technical advice from world-leading scientists, engineers, and economists, leaders in their respective fields; hands-on support from top business students, who embed within the company to provide business support; opportunities to raise capital, including angels and VCs from Europe and North America
Scheller College faculty presenting at the Lifelong event included Jonathan Giuliano, professor of the practice of Strategy and Innovation and executive and academic director of TI:GER, Alexander Oettl, associate professor of Strategy and Innovation, and Peter Thompson, professor and Hal and John Smith Chair in Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The three Scheller professors are co-site leads and academic directors for the CDL-Atlanta partnership.
Thompson specifically noted the disconnect between the number of start-ups in Silicon Valley and those in the Southeast, particularly in the science and technology verticals despite the availability of research organizations in the Atlanta area. Unlike any other accelerator programs, CDL fully supports start-ups in their initial quest for seed capital; providing support from numerous experts and associates, while taking no money for its efforts to see these businesses succeed.“The program is about knowledge and networks,” said Giuliano.
Scheller’s TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program will play an essential role as part of the educational arm, ensuring that Scheller MBA students participate in the CDL experience.
The CDL-Atlanta program will be delivered over a nine-month term and the first cohort is planned for 25 firms to participate. Contributors who support the cohort along the way will include mentors, faculty members, venture managers, scientists and economists, among others. Thompson stated that the support provided by CDL will enhance Atlanta’s entrepreneurial market.