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Creative Destruction Lab - 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 create an equity value of over $24 billion in companies worldwide. HEC Paris was the eighth university worldwide to become a CDL site. To date, more than 4,000 founders in 2,300+ companies have participated in CDL. 

CDL trains HEC Paris MBA students to be effective business consultants in any field. Participants work directly with one of the companies in CDL-Paris (around thirty companies per CDL stream), helping ventures develop financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune their strategies for scaling up their businesses.

During the 10-month program, students gain first-hand experience in all aspects of scaling up a company, with concrete learning outcomes. You will:

•    Develop your consulting skills
•    Learn how to evaluate early-stage science- and technology-based ventures
•    Learn how to prioritize goals for CEOs
•    Learn best practices directly from seasoned business operators
•    Learn how to tackle climate change, space or AI challenges and spot opportunities for application of new technology

Earning 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. Regular in-person sessions bring all these players together to make decisions about the viability of each venture. 


About the Creative Destruction Lab-Paris Streams


Founded in 2020 in partnership with HEC Paris, CDL-Paris hosts three tracks or ‘streams’ of focus. The CDL Paris Climate stream works with climate-oriented startups aiming to preserve and protect the natural world. The CDL Paris Space stream focuses on science and technology startups applying advanced solutions like artificial intelligence to space-related offerings. Beginning this fall, CDL-Paris will open the AI - Machine Learning stream, designed for founders seeking industrial applications to new capabilities of structuring information, predicting patterns and problem solving provided by the latest developments in the field.

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