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Testimonials

Each student, inventor, investor and entrepreneur who participates in the CDL enjoys a unique path of learning and transformation. Here are testimonials from our student participants, in their own words.

“The things I thought were important, such as the importance of the business idea, paled in comparison to other things, such as the motivations and coachability of the founding team. I’ll never forget, for example, when UDIO, a venture focused on providing technological solutions to agriculture, was in the session and the first question Dan Debow asked was, ‘Why farming?’ That, in essence, gets to the bottom of the motivation and serves as an indicator of perseverance. I’m not sure if UDIO will be a success, but I’m confident that the founders of UDIO will be very successful.”

- Venkat Swaminathan, MBA ‘16, Research Associate, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Dan Debow


“The CDL reopened my eyes to what it means to be passionate about what you do. I was surrounded by exceptional leaders who decided to be different, who questioned their capabilities and just ploughed through every hurdle and challenge they faced.”

- Ani Chemilian, BCom’ 17, Venture Manager, Machine Learning at Creative Destruction Lab

“I was inspired by every lecture, session, and interaction with founders and CDL stakeholders. Their passion and beliefs on entrepreneurship influenced me deeply.”

- Kang Wang, MBA ’17, Product Manager at Huawei Technologies

Ajay Aggrawal and Avi Goldfarb


“Meeting the mentors, who succeeded against all odds, and the new founders who seek to follow in their footsteps, has reignited the entrepreneurial spirit that I thought I lost in my first year at Rotman.”

- Denis Chichkine, MBA ’17

“I watched myself grow as a result – I started to think bigger, I was more comfortable with the unknown, and I embraced the fact that my path in life was different.”

- Lisha Xu, MBA ’17, Design Specialist, Service Design and Strategy, TELUS

Woman watching tech demo at CDL Machine Learning Conference, October 2018


“To any MBA student thinking about whether or not they should take the course, I say this: You didn’t join the Rotman program to be satisfied with being a middle manager. You joined the program to become a leader and to drive change. There is no better way to do that than to be a part of the CDL – to build meaningful relationships with mentors, founders, and like-minded MBAs, learn from the most hand-on experiences, and develop invaluable skills while doing all of this.”

- Gonen Hollander, MBA ’17, COO, Acerta Analytics Solutions

“You didn’t join the Rotman program to be satisfied with being a middle manager. You joined the program to become a leader and to drive change.”

- Gonen Hollander, MBA ’17, COO, Acerta Analytics Solutions

Ajay Aggrawal and Avi Goldfarb


“I am indebted to the Creative Destruction Lab for providing access to inspirational founders, industry leaders and a broader business ecosystem I could not have imagined would have been so foundational to my personal career.”

- Sheret Ross, MBA ’17, Space Stream Lead, Creative Destruction Lab

“This opportunity to learn and work is not available in typical academic settings. ...What I learned at CDL has completely altered my career path.”

- Cindy Liu, MBA ’17

“Few of us will ever have the chance to gain hands-on experience with companies seeking to fundamentally change the world around them. The CDL provides that opportunity.”

- Christian Karrer, MBA ’17, Finance and Strategy, Plantiga

Creative Destruction Lab


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