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Big Startup News for Australia
The Creative Destruction Lab comes to Melbourne
For over a decade, I have been involved with the Creative Destruction Lab. This is a seed-stage startup development program that was founded at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. I have served as its Chief Economist and watched it scale throughout the world to twelve more sites across North America and Europe. It has served hundreds of startups leading to a total equity value created of over $28 billion; an extraordinary amount for startups engaged in commercialising science.
It has now been announced that the thirteenth site will be in Melbourne, coming out of the Monash Business School. This is personally very exciting for me as I have long believed that Australia has underexploited startup and innovation potential. Bringing the Creative Destruction Lab to Australia was one of the many policy suggestions Andrew Leigh and I advocated in our 2019 book, Innovation + Equality.
The idea of the Creative Destruction Lab is to bring science to market by creating a market for judgment that is otherwise missing outside of a very small number of places in the world. It does this by creating an ecosystem in a room several times during the year. Australian startups have participated before, flying every couple of months for meetings in Toronto and elsewhere. I have even seen Australian entrepreneurs in other places like Estonia. Having one in Australia will make all of this more accessible and allow tailoring to Australia’s unique capabilities.
If you want to read more about how it all works, I wrote an article for the Sloan Management Review in 2018. If you are an Australian startup interested in being part of the first cohort beginning later this year, you can apply here. And if you are a Monash Business School student wanting to get involved, watch closely for local announcements. Hundreds of Rotman students have spent a year working with CDL startups, and some even joined them upon graduation. As an educational program that runs alongside the startup program, it provides a unique opportunity for MBA students for experiential learning that cannot be provided with shorter MBA programs that are becoming the fashion these days.