The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management announces the launch of CDL-Space, a new program designed for entrepreneurs building new, science-based companies in space-related markets.

Colonel Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space and former commander of the International Space Station, leads the program as a Founding Fellow.

“There are some amazing things happening in space exploration right now. From Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy launch to the 6 crew living in orbit on the Space Station to the world’s space agencies putting human research stations on the Moon, it is a time of great opportunity.” said Col. Hadfield.

“We are launching CDL-Space to accelerate this opportunity. By assembling a community of world-class experts and founders, we will push the boundaries of the commercial space industry. We are at the frontier of a new space economy. Now is the time to place a bet on the next generation of space entrepreneurs.”

CDL-Space will provide technical and business guidance, as well as access to capital for entrepreneurs working on early-stage space ventures. The program will focus on startups predicated on commercializing  advances in telecommunication, vision, propulsion, robotics, and mineral extraction for applications in space. Participating ventures will work with astronauts, world-class scientists, experienced entrepreneurs, and senior leaders of public space agencies. Over the next five years, the program’s mission is to help launch 60 well-capitalized, revenue-generating space companies.

Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space traveller, founder of the ANSARI XPRIZE, co-founder of Telecom Technologies (acquired by Sonus Networks), and the CEO of Prodea Systems, is also a Fellow in this program.

“We are explorers and it is inevitable for humans to travel beyond our planet and build civilizations elsewhere. This challenge is important for continuity of life for our species. There is a critical mass of entrepreneurs, investors, and organizations around the world that believe in this vision of the future. As an astronaut, entrepreneur, and sponsor of the ANSARI XPRIZE, I believe in the need for deep collaboration in developing technologies that make this vision of life in space, and on other planets feasible. CDL-Space is the first coordinated effort by an entrepreneurship program to support the formation and scaling of next-generation space ventures that will help us realize this future,” said Anousheh Ansari.

“CDL runs a unique program for scaling technology-based ventures. They convene world-class technology entrepreneurs, angel investors, VCs, and academic scientists. I’m excited to  leverage the CDL’s track record of successes for the purpose of transforming technical projects focused on frontier space technologies into scalable companies.”

Applications for CDL-Space are now open and will close on August 10, 2018. Selected ventures will begin the nine-month program in October 2018. Ideal applicants include individuals or teams seeking to build a business based on a unique technological or scientific insight and that is early-stage – at the pre-seed or at pre-series A stage.  Applications are accepted online  www.creativedestructionlab.com/apply.