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CDL Certificate – HEC Paris

Launched in 2020, the CDL Certificate – HEC Paris puts students on the front lines of launching a startup.

Discussing a venture at a CDL session

Work Directly with Successful Entrepreneurs

Logo for the creative destruction lab

Established by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School of Management in 2012 and now at twelve locations worldwide, the Creative Destruction Lab is a seed-stage program with a proven track record for vaulting science- and technology-based startups to commercial success. To date, CDL has helped nurture companies worldwide worth over $5.9 billion in equity. HEC Paris was only the eighth university worldwide to become a CDL site. 

HEC Paris MBA students have the opportunity to work directly with one of the companies in CDL-Paris (there can be up to thirty companies per CDL stream). Students help these ventures develop financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune their strategies for scaling up their businesses.

During the 9-month certificate program, students gain first-hand experience in all aspects of founding a company, including:

•    Creating the idea/business
•    Protecting yourself from competition
•    Designing competitive advantage
•    Building a business model
•    Financing a new venture

Participation in the CDL Certificate – HEC Paris begins in the classroom with CDL Intro and Advanced courses which help develop your understanding of entrepreneurship. But most of your time will be spent working as a consultant for one of the CDL-Paris companies. You will benefit from close interactions with real, early-stage ventures, CDL mentors and potential investors.


About the Creative Destruction Lab-Paris Streams


Founded in 2020 in partnership with HEC Paris, CDL-Paris hosts two tracks or ‘streams’ of focus. The CDL Paris Climate stream works with climate-oriented startups aiming to preserve and protect the natural world, and the newly launched CDL Paris Space stream focuses on science and technology startups applying advanced solutions like artificial intelligence to space-related offerings.

Every year, up to 30 highly scalable startups are admitted per stream, each to be accompanied by one HEC Paris MBA student consultant. Using an objectives-based approach, the CDL’s mentors help companies cut through distractions and focus on meeting critical short-term goals. 


Visit the CDL website