Experiential learning in the tech startup ecosystem

The CDL Course

MBA students are engaged with the ventures from the start – working with the CDL-Rockies team on the initial due diligence of the applicants and the selection process itself. Each student is then matched with one of the ventures entering the program based on:

  • The preferences of the venture founders (the types of projects for which they are seeking MBA support);
  • The background, skills, and experience of the student and its relevance to the venture; and
  • The preferences of the students.

Each year, CDL-Rockies will welcome a maximum of 75 ventures, approximately 25 ventures from each stream; Prime, Energy and Ag. CDL-Rockies will be seeking approximately 70 highly motivated graduate students to support the ventures in the program.

What can I expect to learn?

If you are chosen to participate in this program, you will:

  • Deepen your entrepreneurial knowledge
  • Learn first-hand from highly successful serial entrepreneurs
  • Work directly with the founders of the ventures to deliver real-world impact
  • Discover potential opportunities to secure employment with venture companies, corporate partners or fellows/associates

CDL-Rockies 2023/24 Session Schedule

CDL-Rockies Sessions generally occur between October to May, roughly eight-weeks apart. Session attendance is optional, but encouraged.

2023/24 session dates:

  • Session 1: October 31 - November 2, 2023 
  • Session 2: January 30 - February 1, 2024 
  • Session 3: March 19 - 21, 2024 
  • Session 4: May 7 - 9, 2024 

Application Process

Fill out the application form by uploading your CV and submitting a 2-3 minute video that addresses the following questions:

  • Why are you passionate about participating in CDL-Rockies?
  • How do your skills and experience position you to uniquely contribute to the ventures?
  • What do you hope to learn from the program?

Students will be selected on the basis of their passion for the program, relevance of their experience, and reflection on what they hope to learn and bring to the program.

DEADLINE: The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. MBA and EMBA students will be notified by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, if they are accepted into the program. The MBA Program office will enroll you in the relevant courses.

If you have further questions, please contact CDL-Rockies' Academic Director Mark Huson at mhuson@ualberta.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I audit the CDL courses?

No. The CDL courses are only open to selected students who are willing to formally enrol in the courses.

Can I take one of the two courses and still be part of the program?

Preference will be given to students who are fully committed to participating in the program throughout Fall and Winter semesters. Note that, based on performance within the program, students may not be allowed to continue in the second CDL course.

What courses are included in this program?

CDL-Rockies will be taught in two separate MBA/EMBA courses as follows:

  • (Fall 2023) ENTI 621: Start-up Venture Analysis (This course can count towards your FNCE Specialization if you wish)
  • (Winter 2024) ENTI 623: Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies OR MGST 615: Strategic Business Analysis [Special Section] Upon approval of the MBA or EMBA office, your Winter course can be a special section of MGST 615.

Can I take one or both of these courses as extra credit beyond the 20-course requirement?

Preference will be given to students who require at least one course in Fall and one course in Winter to complete their program requirements.

What type of ventures are involved in the program?

The program is designed to support massively scalable science and technology-based ventures.

What happens if the venture that I am matched with leaves CDL-Rockies?

Students may choose to continue to work with a venture that has left the program. Alternatively, students may choose to be re-assigned to a venture continuing on in the program. Consultation with the course instructor and the Venture Leader is encouraged.

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