Concord Graduates Creative Destruction Lab Program
Through a competitive process, Concord was pleased to be accepted into the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) program at the University of British Columbia last fall. We were one of just a handful of startup companies selected to participate in CDL’s “compute stream,” which supports companies seeking to commercialize new computing hardware and software technologies that are massively scalable.
Our admission reinforced that Concord’s core concept - that people should have direct ownership and control of their data and that, when they do, both people and companies benefit - warrants earnest consideration for widespread adoption.
We understood the goal going in: to learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs, increasing the probability of success in terms of company growth and scaling. But the program was much more than that. It was part incubator and part accelerator, with a heavy focus on industry mentorship from select entrepreneurs and investors.
Perhaps what makes CDL truly unique is what they call “entrepreneurial judgment.” The premise is that there’s no shortage of ideas, funding, or effort — rather, what’s missing is the judgment that comes from experience.
The way that worked in practice was having us and the other startups rotate through a series of pitch and objective-setting meetings during each one of the four in-person sessions that took place between October and June.
You essentially did three to four shark tank style pitches each session and then the CDL mentors decided, using their entrepreneurial judgment, who would get to continue on in the program. To continue on, a number of mentors had to agree to work with the company over the following eight week period and their decisions typically boiled down to a single question: Does the company have a real future and am I willing to commit my time to helping them take the next step?
Fortunately for us, a number of mentors answered yes during each session, which led to our graduation from the program in June (CDL graduates around 40-45% of the startups that enter). Throughout the program, we worked with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of R&D.
We would like to provide our deep thanks to the entire CDL team and all of our mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs. Special shout outs to Ray Kruck, Kyle Campbell, Hassan W. Bhatti, David J. Roberts, Ali Pejman, FCPA, FCA, Julie Harrelson, Vik Kambli, Michael Henson, Mark Torrance, & Liam Hilder, who all graciously provided their feedback and expert advice as we continue to refine and improve our go-to-market strategies and our engagement with existing and future clients and investors.