Creative Destruction Lab

On Tuesday 9th March 2021, the team from Creative Destruction Lab came to speak to Headington’s Lower Sixth about their amazing programme for girls.

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a non-profit organisation that delivers “an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies”.

As part of their work CDL offers a mentoring programme to young women aged 14-18. The aim of the programme is to address the gender gap in STEM and entrepreneurship. The programme involves a full day of mentoring with leading entrepreneurs from around the world. Mentors in the past have included the creator of Alexa and one of the current mentors for example is the CEO of the Oxford University Hospitals group.

CDL are offering six places to Headington students to take part in this mentoring programme. Competition will be strong but the benefits will be numerous. Students will be mentored by top level professionals, practise networking, and learn a huge amount about STEM and business.

Juliette spoke of the AI stream experience workshop: “The AI stream of CDL has shown me how important technology is and what it can do for a company and the world. The start-ups that I saw over the course of the day all used technology in a different way, such as in a factory for making manufacturing more robotic, reworking the sewers in Switzerland or for text to voice. Over the course of the day I was able to shadow Elizabeth Caley who was my mentor. She co-founded Poppy which is the world’s first pathogen protection network (currently very important!) and she has worked with AI companies to accelerate science. It was good to see a woman in such a respected and prominent position and she has shown me that anything is possible when you are passionate and dedicated. The entire experience was valuable. After the ventures pitched their ideas the mentors discussed which ventures would go through to the next round in the form of deliberations. The mentors picked up on certain skills that were vital for the ventures to progress to the next stage. Commitment, confidence, the ability to listen and a passion for your field are essential when starting a company and making sure it thrives. Finally, the day gave me a deeper understanding of the intricacies and difficulties of starting a company and I now know how much effort, time and energy goes into it.”

Rabiah commented on the Health stream experience: “The CDL health programme was a great insight into the inspiring world of entrepreneurship. The day was filled with exciting ventures presented within a range of products from nocturnal respiratory devices to Alzheimer’s blood tests. It gave us a chance to talk to a range of experts in many fields not just medicine. My mentor was a retired army officer now involved in business and presented me with knowledge on how the process works. The mentors voluntarily dedicating their time to different ventures was amazing because of the guidance they could receive allowing them to improve alongside forming a business possibly worth millions in the future. It made me want to set up my own health related venture in the future and become involved as a woman in STEM.”

Find out more about campaign for a creative thinking future here. If you’d like to part of this transformative project for all our Headington pupils, we’d love to hear from you. To have a chat, please contact Helen Batchelor and Alice Abbott in the Development Team.

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