Creative Destructive Lab (CDL) hosted it’s second Super Session this month at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. 

On June 12 and 13, over 1000 attendees saw first-hand how 150 graduating ventures are applying technology across CDL’s 8 streams (PrimeArtificial IntelligenceBlockchainCitiesEnergyHealthQuantum, and Space). Super Session attendees  included founders from graduating ventures, CDL mentors, investors, world-class scientists, policy makers, business leaders and students. 

Participants heard from the brightest minds in investing, entrepreneurship, deep-science and technology. In a fireside chat with CDL Executive Director Sonia Sennik, Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands spoke about his role supporting startups in a small market compete globally. Piraye Beim, founder and CEO of Celmatix, urged participants to pay attention to the “sea change” in a chronically underfunded area in technology: “I want to empower you as entrepreneurs and investors to improve women’s health.” The conference also hosted fireside chats with Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston and North co-founder and CEO Stephen Lake, discussing the future of cryptocurrency and human-machine interfaces, respectively. 

In his keynote address, visionary entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist John Risley described the vast opportunities for Atlantic Canada to become a global hub in a new stream being launched this fall: CDL Oceans. Participants also heard from Alexandra Greenhill, co-founder and CEO of healthcare start-up Careteam. Super Session welcomed back many speakers, including prolific investor Vinod Khosla, CEO of XPRIZE Anousheh Ansari, and Colonel Chris Hadfield. In a fireside chat with CDL founder Ajay Agrawal, Khosla addressed how AI will change the nature of work, disrupting high-skilled sectors like healthcare in particular. Ansari tracked her own journey from young dreamer to first female private space traveller, and how imagination can be used to harness the business opportunities space presents, such as finding ways to grow organs in micro-gravity. Hadfield focused on the history of technological innovation driven by the human need to explore, summing up how CDL continues to support this mission: “Why do we do CDL? For me, fundamentally, it’s to improve our quality of life.”

A panel moderated by Elizabeth Cannon with Peter Tertzakian, executive director at the ARC Energy Research Institute, University of Toronto professor Alan Aspuru-Guzik and award-winning author Ramez Naam tackled whether new technology will be up to the task of combatting climate change. Venture capitalists David Tisch (managing partner, BoxGroup), Barney Pell (founder, Moon Express) and Sally Daub (founder, Pool Global Partners) shared their insights on how to identify early-stage companies worth investing in. And former Google CFO Patrick Pichette laid out a compelling case for why B Corporations are the corporate structure most suited for our changing world. 

Participants heard from program alumni on their incredible progress, including Darwin AI, Chisel, Sensorup, Innovein, eMurmur and Stratuscent. Super Session was also a launchpad for the expansion of CDL program to the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. 

Seven years ago, CDL began its mission to support massively scalable, science and technology-based startups. Today, CDL is a growing community of curious, ambitious talent striving to transform the way research is commercialized converge. Super Session is where they came together to discuss how they are building solutions to the world’s most fascinating problems, like how to make healthcare more effective, our cities more liveable and space exploration more accessible. 

CDL is already laying the groundwork for Super Session 2020: Applications for the 2019/20 cohort are now open across CDL’s six sites and 10 streams. 

Watch the keynote addresses from CDL Super Session 2019 below: