Media Releases

University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab selects its newest cohort

December 3, 2013

TORONTO, ON – Building on a successful inaugural year which resulted in eight successful ventures creating over $65 million in equity value, 15  new ventures have been accepted into the second cohort of the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Offering its ventures access to unparalleled mentorship, the Creative Destruction Lab has accrued a team of experienced entrepreneurs who have successfully created, nurtured and harvested value from massively scalable, technology-based businesses. Dubbed The Group of Seven Fellows, or G7, this fellowship spans from coast to coast, uniting some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.

This year, the G7 team is host to nine successful entrepreneurs who met on November 1 to select the ventures for the upcoming year. This year’s new members of the G7 include:

·         Ted LivingstonCo-Founder and CEO of Kik. Backed by Foundation Capital, RRE, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, Kik has raised $29.1M to date – $19.5M of that in a Series B funding round earlier this year.

·         Jevon MacDonald – VP at Salesforce, which he joined through the $70M acquisition of his company GoInstant. Co-Founder of, instigator of StartupCamp Toronto, the Founders and Funders dinner,, and most recently, Halifax-based incubator, Volta.

·         Dr. Geordie Rose – Founder and CTO of the British Columbia-based quantum computing company, D-Wave. He has received several awards for his work with D-Wave, including the 2011 Canadian Innovation Exchange Innovator of the Year.

·         John Francis – Current Board member for the Hospital for Sick Children and Founder and Managing Director of Fraser Kearney Capital Corp. Most recently, he was President & CEO of Trader Media Corporation.

A second important part of the Creative Destruction Lab is a new MBA course that places students in the real-world volatile business environment which the Lab’s ventures  experience. Twenty-four of the Rotman School’s top MBA students are engaged in the course working closely with the ventures to help them tackle critical business problems.

The Creative Destruction Lab’s 2013/14 cohort boasts innovation spread across a range of industries, including medical, law, construction, information technology, retail and others.

“We are really excited about the second cohort of ventures that applied to the Lab this year,” says Jesse Rodgers, Director of the Creative Destruction Lab. “We had an increase in both the overall quality and quantity of applications. It was a difficult decision to select only 15 ventures to start in the program.”

Founding members of these companies have studied at numerous post-secondary institutions, including the University of British Columbia, Carleton University, University of Waterloo, Western University, University of Toronto, University of Massachusetts, MIT, York University, OCAD, Queen’s University, University of Guelph, Dalhousie University, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, Harvard University, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and McMaster University.

About the Creative Destruction Lab

Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal, Co-founder of The Next 36 and Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School, the Creative Destruction Lab leverages Rotman’s leading faculty and industry network, inventions and talent from world-class, technology-oriented faculties at the University of Toronto and other Canadian universities, and its location in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities and North America’s largest financial centre, Toronto. The Creative Destruction Lab takes no equity and charges no fee for participation – the only tuition for founders to get into and stay in the program is performance.

In its first year, the Creative Destruction Lab produced eight successful ventures, and generated over $65M in equity value.

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The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions. For more information, visit


For more information, contact:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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