The CDL Partners Program is designed by world-leading academics to provide insights on the economic impact of new technology.
CDL Partners Education Modules are the key educational component of the CDL Partners Program. The purpose of the modules is to help partners understand the ‘simple’ economics of an emerging technology area - specifically, the key costs and benefits that change with the adoption of the new technology and, in turn, the types of industries, businesses, investments and jobs that are likely to be impacted.

CDL Climate (September 15, 2020)

Rebecca Henderson (John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Harvard University) believes that to achieve what’s necessary to address climate change, we must do more than reimagining environmental regulations, we must reimagine capitalism. During this session, Rebecca presented the key thesis in her new book, "Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire", and led a discussion on how the startups and mentors in our CDL Climate program can utilize this unique moment in history to develop a strategy that is both good for business and good for humanity.

Simple Economics of AI (October 22, 2020)

Ajay Agrawal (Founder, Creative Destruction Lab), co-author of "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence", brought his deep expertise to the CDL Partners Program, paired with real-world experience in applying this technology to business challenges. The objectives of the module included:
  • What is AI and how does it relate to my business?
  • How can startups at CDL be utilized as an asset for my AI strategy?
  • How can we develop an AI strategy as an organization?

Simple Economics of Quantum (December 1, 2020)

This module with Roger Melko (Professor of Computational Quantum Many-Body Physics, University of Waterloo) and Francesco Bova (Associate Professor, Rotman School of Management) highlighted the concept of quantum computing in relevance to:
  • What problems can quantum computing help address?
  • How are companies using quantum technology today?
  • How might potential advancements in quantum computing affect the economics of various industries?

Simple Economics of Oceans (January 26, 2021)

During the Simple Economics of Oceans, John Risley (Founding Partner, CDL-Atlantic & O.C., President, Clearwater Fine Foods Inc.) guided the audience through the following questions:
  • What is the 'Ocean Economy'? How big is it? And what are its major segments?
  • What are the fundamental economics of production in the Ocean Economy? How are technological advances changing these economics?
  • What significant opportunities are on the horizon?
  • How is CDL's Oceans program helping startups develop breakthrough technologies in these areas?

Simple Economics of Energy (March 8, 2021)

How do you evaluate an investment in hydrogen versus biofuels? How will the next generation of small modular nuclear reactors impact investments in renewables? How will oil and gas innovations play into a net-zero future? Peter Tertzakian (Deputy Director, ARC Energy Research Institute) distilled the complexity of large-scale societal transformation into easy-to-understand concepts that could be used by stakeholders in - and connected to - the energy business.

Simple Economics of Blockchain (April 12, 2021)

In this module, Christian Catalini (Chief Economist, Diem Association) highlighted:
  • How to understand blockchain as a reduction in the costs of verification and the costs of networking;
  • How to identify when these cost reductions are creating new business opportunities;
  • What the most promising application areas may be including payments, decentralized finance and verification of physical assets (and the resulting ‘last mile’ problems);
  • What types of (economic) complements are necessary for these applications (for example, oracle solutions).

Simple Economics of Space (April 20, 2021)

The cost of sending a payload into Low Earth Orbit (or LEO) has fallen dramatically in the last decade. In the 1970s, it cost $20,000 (in today’s dollars) to put a litre of water into space. Today, that cost is about $2,000. The SpaceX Starship has ambition to reduce this to $20. These cost reductions have the potential to open up space to a myriad of new business and investment opportunities. Innovation and investment in the space industry are growing. Advancements are being made in areas such as Geospatial Earth Observation (EO), satellites and communications, GPS, robotics, space mining, in-orbit servicing, and space tugs. These ‘co-innovations’ aim to create businesses opportunities that take advantage of the drop in the cost of launch. Col Chris Hadfield (Astronaut & First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station) introduced a simple economic framework that can be used to understand the opportunities in the space economy and what’s necessary for them to materialize.

Simple Economics of Digital Health (May 13, 2021)

Avi Goldfarb (Professor, Rotman School of Management), Andrew Thompson (CEO, Proteus Digital Health), and Mara Lederman (Professor, Rotman School of Management) highlighted how digitization is impacting the healthcare industry, how digital health makes healthcare increasingly relevant to their management decisions, and how to encourage adoption of health innovations by employees and customers.

Why Startups Fail - a New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success (May 20, 2021)

Tom Eisenmann's (Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School) research revealed six distinct patterns that explain a large portion of startup failures, and these learnings were connected to the work of CDL, where founders set objectives every eight weeks to reduce their risk of failure and increase their probability of success.


Founding Partners
  • John Harris
  • ThresholdImpact (Dr. Ray Muzyka and Leona De Boer)
  • TD Bank - Founding Corporate Partner, CDL Health
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
  • Royal Canadian Navy
  • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP - Legal Partner
  • Dentons - CDL Public Health Legal Partner
  • Digital Technologies Research Centre, National Research Council Canada - Technical Evaluation Committee Partner


Founding Partners
  • Sid Mookerji
  • Frank Blake
  • Truist - Corporate Partner
  • Morris, Manning & Martin LLP - Legal Partner


    Founding Partners
    • Chris Huskilson
    • Frank Sobey
    • George Armoyan
    • Jim Spatz
    • John Risley
    • Ken Rowe
    • Mark Dobbin
    • Rob Sobey
    • Rob Steele
    • Bank of Montreal
    • Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
    • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
    • Royal Canadian Navy
    • KPMG
    • Walton Family Foundation
    • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    • Innovacorp
    • John Lindsay
    • Province of Nova Scotia
    • Volta


    Founding Partners
    • Bank of Montreal
    • Espace CDPQ
    • National Bank of Canada
    • Power Corporation of Canada
    • Royal Bank of Canada
    • With the support of Government of Quebec and Scale AI
    • Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
    • Royal Canadian Navy
    • Bank of Canada
    • Dentons


    Founding Partners
    • Dennis Kavelman
    • John McCall MacBain
    • Kjell Skappel
    • Mark Evans
    • Niklas Zennström
    • Patrick Pichette
    • Peter Davies
    • Robin Klein
    • Barclays
    • UK Research and Innovation - Research England
    • Goodwin


    Founding Partners
    • McCall MacBain Foundation


    Founding Partners
    • Alison Sunstrum
    • “BURNCO Family Foundation” as represented by Scott Burns and Tracy Wright
    • “Campbell Family” as represented by Kevin Campbell
    • Craig Senyk
    • “Viewpoint Foundation” as represented by Mac Van Wielingen
    • Michael Kanovsky
    • Michael & Heather Culbert
    • Michael & Jacqueline Broadfoot
    • Pat & Connie Carlson
    • Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
    • Business Development Bank of Canada
    • Canadian Natural Resources
    • CPP Investments
    • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
    • Coril Group of Companies
    • FCC
    • Imperial Oil
    • KPMG
    • Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
    • Nutrien - CDL Catalyst Partner
    • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
    • Royal Canadian Navy
    • Suncor
    • The Carrera Group
    • The Mancal Group


    Founding Partners
    • Artie Buerk
    • Neal Dempsey
    • Bill McAleer
    • Rob Short
    • Steve Singh
    • Microsoft


      Founding Partners
      • Anthony Lacavera
      • Fred Dawkins
      • Daniel Debow & Jordan Huber
      • Dennis Bennie
      • John Francis
      • John Harris
      • Neil Wainwright
      • adMare BioInnovations
      • Business Development Bank of Canada
      • Canadian Tire
      • CPP Investments
      • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
      • GM
      • Honda
      • Huawei
      • KPMG
      • Mastercard
      • Medicine by Design
      • MDA
      • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
      • Rotman Catalyst Fund
      • Royal Bank of Canada
      • Royal Canadian Navy
      • Scotiabank
      • Technology Partners
      • D-Wave Systems
      • IBM Q
      • Rigetti Computing
      • Xanadu
      • Zapata Computing
      • Investment Partners
      • Bloomberg Beta
      • DCVC
      • S28 Capital
      • Portage


      Founding Partners
      • Bill Sauder
      • Bruce Hoeschen
      • Rodney Payne
      • Robert Friesen
      • Colin Harris
      • Christopher Bissonnette
      • Jim W. Davidson
      • Leigh Sauder
      • Charles Chang
      • Moe Kermani
      • Paul Lee
      • Phil Christopher
      • adMare BioInnovations
      • Business Development Bank of Canada
      • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
      • Genome British Columbia
      • KPMG
      • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
      • Praxis Spinal Cord Institute
      • Royal Canadian Navy
      • Saltagen Ventures
      • Telus Ventures
      • Evok Innovations
      • Zymeworks
      • Fasken
      • Innovate BC
      • Nimbus Synergies Inc.
      • Paul Geyer
      • Vladimir Tucakov


      Founding Partners
      • American Family Insurance