Scaleup programmes

Back to programmes


Creative Destruction Lab – Oxford


Impact for scaleups


founders supported

£1.3 bn+

equity value created by CDL - Oxford participants


jobs created


projects were completed with the support of the CDL-Oxford Students

Key sectors

Technology & Communications

Newly endorsed by the ScaleUp Institute in 2023 the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Oxford offers early stage and scaling businesses support for the different challenges in their scale-up journey through mentorship from select entrepreneurs and angel investors, technical advice from CDL’s Chief Scientists, and business development support from MBA students. Part of a network of 12 CDL sites spanning Europe and North America, CDL – Oxford bridges the gap of support between universities and spinouts, building the future pipeline of scaleups.

A vibrant community of entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and industry experts gives founders feedback on business strategy and tactics to accelerate growth. Participants access advice on technology roadmaps, technical feedback and advice on technical validation from world-renowned experts from leading academic institutions.

The mentorship element gives participants access to entrepreneurs and angel investors drawn from CDL’s network of fellows and associates. Intensive full-day mentoring sessions take place every eight weeks and focus on immediate business priorities, as well as realistic objectives and KPIs for resolving them. These are then reviewed at the next session, creating a continuous process of objective delivery and impact assessment.

Scaleups also receive business development support from MBA students through the Creative Destruction Lab Student Programme where students collaborate closely with founders on bespoke challenges. This includes developing comprehensive financial projections, analysing market opportunities, and optimising growth strategies to achieve long-term success. Additionally, CDL Mentors provide founders with access to their own networks of talent and can help advise on potential future hires.

Programmes take place within streams grouped around industry sectors and global opportunity areas. CDL offers 20 streams worldwide, of which five are Oxford-based. These include an AI stream, a Fintech stream focused on secure financial services and technology, and a Climate stream that aims to build profitable, investable businesses to commercialise technologies that meaningfully contribute to solving this global challenge. Two Oxford-global streams focus on advanced therapies – including cell and gene therapies, biologics, antibody-drug conjugates, and other biological products – and the space sector. 

The nine-month programme also features a series of four immersive full-day sessions conducted on-site at Saïd Business School. These are designed to facilitate objective setting, foster growth and drive progress amongst participating scaleups. It culminates in an annual Super Session. This involves over 1,000 CDL mentors, investors, scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers along with global business leaders. 

Since its creation, the CDL-Oxford programme has facilitated the creation of over £1.3 billion in equity value and has contributed to the creation of over 716 jobs by CDL-Oxford alumni businesses. In 2021/2022 58 projects were completed with the support of the CDL-Oxford Students through the CDL-Oxford student programme. To date, the CDL global ecosystem has facilitated the creation of £16.6 billion in equity value, signifying the success and growth of ventures nurtured within the program. CDL has welcomed over 4,282 ventures from 90 countries.

I absolutely recommend applying for CDL to any founder transforming technologies from the forefront of research into applicable solutions that will shape society’s future. The programme is not only professionally organised and challenging, but the entire CDL journey is accompanied by an amazing team.Philipp Adamidis, QuantPi

The CDL programme reinforced our belief that we can scale on another level, especially after meeting and speaking to the world class mentors supporting us during the programme. The mentors on this programme are proven, they have built, scaled and exited companies on a huge scale and in some cases multiple times. Our engagement with the mentors is continuing and it’s given us a solid network of support which we can reach out to for any guidance during the scaling of our company. Amar Rana, CrediCar

Creative Destruction Lab – Oxford website