COMM 489 - Applied Methods in Technology Start-ups at CDL (formerly COMM 486W)

The Creative Destruction Lab Program is a global deep tech mentorship program hosted at leading research universities across three continents helping emerging technology and science focused start-ups. Starting 24W our CDL undergraduate course (COMM 489) will be split into two courses over two semesters to accommodate for an increase in scope for the courses: COMM 486J and COMM 489.

In January 2025, the CDL Course COMM 489, students will learn the ins and outs of venture selection and due diligence in venture capital. Students will participate in an experiential seed venture capital allocation learning initiative and will learn how venture capitalists and angel investors make investment decisions including due diligence and valuations. Students will create documentation used in seed investment decisions and will present their memos to an investment committee consisting of local venture capitalists and investment bankers. Through this work, students will participate in decision making for the allocation of capital into CDL-V ventures. This course can be used toward Year 4 Entrepreneurship option requirements.

The course is restricted to students in Year 4. 

Prerequisite: COMM 486J (starting 24W)

Information sessions

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Course Info Session
Room HA347 at UBC Sauder
Monday, April 22, 2024
4:30pm - 5:30pm

Session recording:

CDL overview

CDL-Vancouver is an expansion from the original Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, a program that has created more than $5.0 Billion in equity value in eight years targeting companies that have the potential to transform our social, industrial, and economic landscape. The CDL is one of the world’s premier seed stage programs for massively scalable science-based ventures. Notable graduates include: Atomwise, Notch Therapeutics, Plantible Foods, Ionomr Innovations, Shift, Spiderwort and others.

Course overview

The goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and hands-on experience in selecting and investing in high potential deep tech venture-scale start-ups. Students will become familiar with the CDL-Vancouver companies and will have the opportunity to conduct due diligence gaining insight into how angel investors (and VCs) make investment decisions. Students will be making recommendations on the allocation of funds for the purpose of equity financing a CDL venture. Also, the work students do for ventures will be seen by the mentors/investors in the CDL program, and influence their investment decisions and the progress of the ventures. Some of the students across the CDL network have joined venture-backed CDL companies in key roles – this course is a unique opportunity for students who are interested in real world exposure to start-ups and seed funding. 

We recommend that you learn more about the CDL program by visiting as well as reading these news releases and articles:

How will this course be taught?

This course is a combination of both lecture and workshop sessions in which students will advance their CDL-Vancouver ventures. Workshops will draw upon knowledge from entrepreneurship and start-up best practices across many verticals and students will be coached by guest speakers such as venture capitalists, lawyers, project managers, and marketing professionals. Projects and assignments will be conducted for the benefit of the CDL ventures and students alike.

Course instructor

Darrell Kopke
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneur
Office: DL415

Course credits:

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