CDL has redeployed resources by applying the CDL model and community to rapidly translate science into solutions, inspire a young generation of entrepreneurs, and partner with an organization to build an ecosystem with diverse representation and equal access to broaden investments.

CDL Rapid Screening Consortium

A private-led, not-for-profit initiative with the goal of establishing a robust rapid screening system and operational implementation strategy to be delivered as a public good across the world

>1,900 organizations in the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium as of Mar 31
>2.05M rapid antigen screens deployed as of Mar 31
>13.4k individuals screened / week as of Mar 31

The CDL Rapid Screening Consortium was a private-led, not-for-profit initiative with the goal of establishing a robust rapid screening system and operational implementation strategy to be delivered as a public good to Canada and then the world. The Consortium was led by Creative Destruction Lab. This was an unprecedented collaboration among businesses, researchers, and government working together on a singular public-interest objective. Founding consortium members included: Air Canada, CPPIB, Genpact, Loblaw, Magna, MDA, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Nutrien, Rogers, Scotiabank, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Suncor.

CDL RSC supported the launch of over 3,400 rapid screening sites across all Canadian provinces and territories through the following three pillars:

  1. Training Materials & Standard Operating Procedures – A “Quick Start Guide” helped organizations launch their Workplace Rapid Screening Program and (1) order screens, (2) register for the data solution,  and (3) manage their operational teams.
  2. Operational Support & Community Building – CDL RSC hosted Weekly Operations Meetings for efficient transfer of knowledge & utilized the CDL RSC Community Slack Workspace. CDL RSC joined weekly provincial and territorial meetings to ensure alignment with guidelines and screen supply.
  3. Data System to Streamline Reporting – Data was collected through CDL RSC Data System and automatically de-identified for reporting to provinces, territories, and Health Canada.

The CDL RSC community was exceptional in operational and policy innovation. The consortium catalyzed the use of Rapid Antigen Screens as part of regularly screening asymptomatic people in Canada. CDL RSC’s sharing of de-identified data via a first-of-its-kind national platform highlighted the value and utility of a rapid screening system and the value of a national platform for data for organizations of all types, sizes, and geographies. The federal and provincial governments have now expanded their use of RATs across the country, as well as new RAT supply prioritization.

CDL RSC will continue to provide self-serve training materials and resources online as a public good for Canada and the world. Researchers will continue to learn from the national dataset via the oversight of University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Impact on participating organizations and the effectiveness of rapid screening in preventing outbreaks was highlighted in two publications:

  • Large-scale implementation of rapid antigen testing system for COVID-19 in workplaces (Science Advances) – The transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in workplaces has been a persistent issue throughout the pandemic. In response, a not-for-profit initiative emerged to mitigate COVID-19 workplace transmission in Canada. This paper reports the process for establishing a workplace frequent rapid antigen test (RAT) program. High-frequency testing programs offer the potential to break chains of transmission and act as an extra layer of protection in a comprehensive public health response.
  • False-Positive Results in Rapid Antigen Tests for SARS-CoV-2 (JAMA) – Concerns have been raised whether rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 can result in false-positive test results and undermine pandemic management for COVID-19. This study investigated the incidence of false-positive results in a large sample of rapid antigen tests used to serially screen asymptomatic workers throughout Canada.

The output of the CDL RSC is indicative of what can be accomplished when organizations come together with a single vision and goal. CDL established this vision and was a consistent source of leadership for all organizations as we navigated through scaling of the rapid screening programs.

Loblaws / Shoppers Drug Mart Founding Consortium Member, CDL RSC

CDL RSC was structured in a way that we felt like we had a team of experts ready to help us every step of the way. We learned about rapid screening but also about similar businesses going through this in similar models. Additionally, when given the opportunity, we were encouraged to help other small businesses to learn.

Tap Shoes Canada Participating Organization, CDL RSC

CDL Apprentice Program

An initative that exists to address the gender gap by providing experiences that foster an entrepreneurial mindset and encourage individuals to challenge themselves

900+ students have participated since it's inception in 2015
243 students participated in the 2021/22 program year
7 modules hosted across 7 CDL sites

The purpose of the CDL Apprentice Program is to address the gender gap in STEM and entrepreneurship. CDL provides experiences to foster an entrepreneurial mindset and encourage individuals to challenge themselves and current statistics. Women represent 51% of the population yet continue to be underrepresented in technical studies and careers, women-led startups, and in 2021, only 2.1% of all venture capital deployed went to companies founded solely by women.

A unique opportunity was formed in 2015 wherein CDL invited women-identified individuals between the ages of 14 and 18 with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and entrepreneurship, to participate in the CDL program. Now known as the CDL Apprentice Program, which has been running for 7 years, CDL has provided 900+ woman-identified, two-spirit, transgender, and non-binary, students with opportunities to develop leadership skills and access education focused on entrepreneurship and technology innovation.

All participants in the CDL Apprentice Program take part in networking and mentorship programming alongside accomplished entrepreneurs, scientists, and academics while also completing CDL-developed and led educational programming in STEM-based fields. The education modules are online and students learn first-hand from scientists, researchers and economists. It also connects them into a peer group with similar interests and curiosities. There are seven modules (AI, Health, Energy, Oceans, Computational Health, Risk, and Matter)

The program is free of charge for participants and is aimed at boosting the engagement of young woman-identified individuals in the STEM field, specifically in technology startups and entrepreneurship, year after year, and to support them as they develop critical skills on the journey through to the start of their careers.

The 2021/22 cohort had 243 program participants admitted into the program from across the world.

I love these programs! I've learned a LOT about my potential career options, and the way I can become a strong woman in STEM. Thanks CDL!

CDL Apprentice Student

I will think about my career path differently because this module informed me of global issues that I want to work on solving (ex: how to store solar energy to work during the night time).

CDL Apprentice Student

Material Change Institute

Material Change Institute is a non-profit that enables underrepresented investors to reach influential decision-making positions within the asset management industry.

3 CDL sessions attended by Material Change Fellows
9 CDL mentors participating in partnership
9 Material Change Fellows shadowing CDL program

In March 2022, Creative Destruction Lab partnered with Material Change Institute, a new non-profit building a capital ecosystem that provides diverse representation and equal access to broaden investments. The partnership matches Material Change Institute fellows with Creative Destruction Lab’s network of experienced mentors to drive impact.

Research shows that investments made by diverse teams have better financial outcomes. Companies with diverse investors tackle strategic decision-making and recruitment with more creativity and open-mindedness, leading to stronger returns. This is why Material Change Institute created a comprehensive executive program aimed at lowering the investment industry’s barriers to entry for underrepresented individuals. The organization identifies and supports diverse individuals in the investment community through a year-long program to prepare them for influential decision-making roles, offering virtual learning, mentorship, paid internships and incubator experience throughout the program.

Through this partnership, these Material Change Institute Fellows have the unique opportunity to learn from CDL’s global network of first-class entrepreneurs, operators, investors and executives, to observe and understand the challenges faced by inventors building early-stage companies at the cutting edge of science and technology.



Having real, tactical support from colleagues and community can supercharge someone’s career. For underrepresented investors who don’t always have that access and support, CDL and Material Change are opening doors and offering meaningful steps that can lead to big opportunities.

Karin Klein • Associate, CDL-Toronto Founding Partner, Bloomberg Beta

This partnership aims to provide a first-of-its-kind, immersive learning experience for investment professionals from a broad range of backgrounds and provide them with easier onboarding into venture capital.

Eve Blossom • Associate, CDL-Toronto & CDL-Vancouver Founder and CEO, Material Change Institute

CDL-Estonia will infuse an advanced startup ecosystem with global capital and expertise.

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Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) partner to launch a unique program for seed-stage companies commercializing cancer research results.

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Launch of global CDL Space stream will unlock new worlds of possibility for founders. CDL’s global stream will build a bridge between space industries in North America and Europe.

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Creative Destruction Lab and Material Change Institute partner to accelerate investors onboarding for professionals seeking to break into the investment industry.

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In the midst of a digital transformation precipitated by a global pandemic, CDL is launching a specialized stream to advance core enabling technologies.

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Amid global demand, supply chain issues as well as shifting political and regulatory landscapes, CDL-Seattle is recruiting startups in the field of advanced manufacturing.

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