Society management

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) are partnering to launch a unique program for early-stage companies commercializing cancer research results

Through a first-of-its-kind partnership, CCS and CDL are accelerating innovations to improve the cancer experience globally, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment and survivorship


CDL Cancer Program Partnership Announcement

Toronto, Ont.; Vancouver, BC, April 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — April 12, 2022 — A new partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), founded at the Rotman School of Management from the University of Toronto, will create CDL Cancer – a new, world-class program to educate, mentor, fund and inspire entrepreneurs and researchers developing and testing innovations in oncology. Through this program, CCS and CDL will accelerate the movement of research discoveries into real-world application, helping to bring the most promising solutions to cancer challenges to the people who need them most.

CDL Cancer will be built on the proven CDL model – a social experiment designed with economic impact. This new CDL program will be tailored to the unique characteristics of oncology-focused research and development, working with CCS to design a one-of-a-kind offering for startup founders, investors and scientists working in the field of science-based health and innovation.

CDL Cancer will be led from CDL-Toronto (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto) and CDL-Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia). The program will be integrated with the CDL Health and CDL Neuro components currently operational at both sites. Oncology-focused startups accepted into the program will be paired with industry leaders and subject matter experts working at the frontiers of research and will then be mentored for nine months in five sessions to refine strategic goals, prioritize goals, raise capital and engage with partners working within their field. Successful program graduates have the opportunity to connect with key network stakeholders and attract investment from leading CDL mentors and venture capital firms.

CDL Health’s current mentors are enthusiastic entrepreneurs, successful operators, angel investors and venture capital partners, such as Peter Zandstra (Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculties of Medicine and Applied Science at UBC and Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering), Ali Tehrani (co-founder and former CEO of Zymeworks (NYSE: ZYME) developing cancer treatments), Brent Norton (venture partner at Lumira Ventures, executive chairman and CEO of Ortho RTI and CAMH Research Committee Member), Molly Shoichet (Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and Professor of ChemEng & Applied Chem & Biomaterials & Biomedical Eng at UofT), and Dr. Chen Fong (Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary; has funded over 50 medical device companies).

CDL Cancer will be a fundamental part of the CCS Cancer Prevention and Support Centre. Through the Centre, the CCS supports cancer prevention and survivorship researchers, works with partners to increase research awareness, connects evidence producers with evidence users, and disseminates and expands these innovations nationwide. The CCS team through the Center will work with the CDL to provide trusted expertise in cancer control and a national view of the gaps and opportunities in cancer care that should be addressed to benefit the health of people in Canada, especially underserved populations. This could include new ways to detect cancer earlier, screening methods tailored to communities, and advances in precision medicine.

Selected companies will begin the nine-month CDL program in October 2022. Ideal candidates are founders working to commercialize new tools, techniques or products that enable better research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and/or offer a potential cure for any cancer. Additionally, we will accept technologies or platforms that improve patients’ quality of life during and after treatment. For more questions, contact the team at

Applications for the 2022/23 CDL program year are now open – take the next step to build something huge at


The Canadian Cancer Society is proud to be the founding partner of CDL Cancer. The CCS is the largest national charitable funder of cancer research and this program reflects our belief that we can save more lives, faster, if we build better links between research and knowledge translation; if we harness ideas, share expertise and deepen investments in pursuit of a common goal. CDL Cancer will allow us to connect the most promising science faster with patient groups, community organizations and health systems across the country and the world, so we can make real progress in changing the future of cancer. .
– Andrea Seale, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society

Our partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society will harness the CDL process to transform the way cancer research is commercialized. This is a unique opportunity to influence the trajectory of prevention, early detection and treatment technologies in support of Canadians affected by cancer. We are delighted to welcome the Canadian Cancer Society to our global Creative Destruction Lab community.
– Sonia Sennik, Executive Director, Creative Destruction Lab

The Canadian Cancer Society is a major organization that funds cancer research in Canada. Over the decades, he has helped create exemplary scientific research in Canadian universities. This joint venture with the Creative Destruction Lab is the start of a major new chapter for CCS; accelerate the translation of existing research excellence into new products and services for the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. Bringing in the Creative Destruction Lab’s expertise and network can instantly kick-start and accelerate the process. I am thrilled to see two great organizations come together to translate Canadian academic research.
– Dr. Chen Fong, CM, Co-Chair, Strategic Advisory Board, Creative Destruction Lab

I am inspired and incredibly grateful for the Canadian Cancer Society’s visionary partnership with the Rotman School’s Creative Destruction Lab. By harnessing CDL’s unparalleled global innovation engine, the Canadian Cancer Society will help turn advanced scientific knowledge into massively scalable solutions for one of the world’s most complex and devastating diseases.
– Susan Christoffersen, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

We are delighted to welcome the Canadian Cancer Society to CDL Health and the Sauder School of Business at UBC. This strategic partnership for the translation of the scientific discoveries of many outstanding researchers will dramatically increase the number, scale and speed of projects impacting cancer patients.
– Robert Helsley, Dean, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia


The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We offer a compassionate support system for everyone touched by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice of Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish healthy public policies to prevent cancer and better support people living with the disease. No other organization is doing all the things we do to improve lives today and change the future of cancer forever.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.


Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a non-profit organization that offers a goal-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science and technology-based businesses. Its nine-month program allows founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their chances of success.

Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program has spread to eleven sites in five countries: Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Paris (HEC Paris ), Atlanta (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology), Madison (Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Seattle (University of Washington, Foster School of Business), Tartu (Delta Management School, University of Tartu ), Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Montreal (HEC Montreal), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary) and Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University).


The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global center of research and teaching excellence in the heart of Canada’s business capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse opinions and initiatives around one overarching goal: creating value for business and society. For more information, visit


Located in Vancouver, Canada’s gateway to the Pacific, UBC Sauder School of Business offers a global business perspective at a dynamic crossroads of the international marketplace. With exceptional faculty and unparalleled global partnerships, the Sauder School of Business opens up worlds for its students and stakeholders – worlds of knowledge, worlds of opportunity, and worlds of insight. For more information, visit


CONTACT: Amarpreet Kaur Creative Destruction Lab 4163339564