Blockchain and related technologies are finally coming of age. Here at Measure, we believe this is signified by the number of business schools, angel investors, venture capital firms, and programs emerging to support the development of technologies and building viable businesses. One example of this is the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) program.
Earlier this summer, Measure was thrilled to be one of the companies selected for the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Blockchain bootcamp. Launched in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program is designed for massively scalable, science and technology-based companies. The program includes locations in Toronto, Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Halifax.
The bootcamp, run out of the Rotman School of business, brought together more than 40 of the most innovative companies at varying stages of development. This includes some with single founders and a brilliant idea, to others already actively commercializing their businesses. The two-week bootcamp was designed to provide a foundation for everyone to evolve their businesses regardless of stage. The sessions included a number of lectures and exercises around game theory, smart contract mechanisms, building trust in online ecosystems, and a number of valuable business topics such as IP, licensing and entrepeneurialship.
While the CDL has been around since 2012, this was only the second Blockchain cohort to participate. The CDL conducts a number of streams including, Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Cities, Health, Oceans, Quantum Computing, Space, and of course Blockchain. Out of these streams, an impressive number of Alumni have completed the program.
What is interesting about this latest cohort in Blockchain is that the program is designed to provide mentorship from select entrepreneurs, angel investors and partners from venture capital firms, opportunities to raise capital, advice on technology from chief scientists, and business development support from top MBA students. There is no doubt about the relevance, importance and future of technologies and development around space, energy, artificial intelligence and quantum. The introduction of a Blockchain stream is a strong signal that despite the hype (perceived or real) and tribulations over the past 24 months with Blockchain, it is being recognized by these firms, schools of business, investors and scientists alike that it provides promise and opportunity. For us, this is a sign of maturity in the technology and the building of viable businesses that are advancing the technology and putting it to use for real-world solutions.
This is, in part, why programs such as CDL are vital for new technologies as these programs provide a foundation for founders to assess their businesses. It is very plausible that some individuals realize that in fact blockchain is not necessary for their business, or that their business model, idea or direction needs some refining and further thought. Regardless, those who come out of these programs sit on firmer ground, and are more attractive to investors and customers alike.
For Measure specifically, we’ve identified a few novel approaches to building trust, and the further utilization of game theory to help build trust in digital ecosystems. The program has also provided us with additional confidence in some of our decisions, and even tradeoffs, we’ve made in these early days to pave a direction for long term success.
As part of the bootcamp, each venture submits a business proposal which will be evaluated by the CDL. Based on this proposal, those who are accepted to the next phase will participate in a number of mentored sessions for a period of up to nine months. Stay tuned as we will keep you updated in future posts.