Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab Selects First Executive Director

The University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab has appointed Sonia Sennik as the seed-stage accelerator program’s inaugural executive director.

Sennik will be responsible for the Lab’s strategic operational and programmatic leadership, coordination and oversight for its national network of programs.

While she has a professional and academic background in engineering, Sennik is a recent graduate of the Rotman School’s Executive MBA program where she was the inaugural recipient of the Rotman Social Impact Award. As the executive director, Sennik will work closely with Ajay Agrawal, the founder and academic director of the Lab.

“The Creative Destruction Lab is expanding rapidly, both geographically and programmatically. Sonia will provide leadership, vision, and energy to help ensure the success of the Lab and its ventures in the coming years,” said Agrawal, who launched the Lab in 2012 at the Rotman School of Management.

The Creative Destruction Lab is geared towards massively scalable, science-based startups. The intensive program offers early-stage company founders mentorship, funding opportunities, business development support from MBA students, and advice from the Lab’s chief scientists.

Since inception, the Lab has added four new programs outside the province, partnering with business schools in Calgary, Halifax, Vancouver and Montreal. Each Lab program selects startups from a different set of science streams, from blue-green tech to quantum machine learning.

While securing venture capital isn’t guaranteed, many companies have raised pre-seed or seed rounds ranging from $500,000 to several million in the program.

The acclaimed accelerator program has helped develop many notable tech companies including Waterloo-based Thalmic Labs, Toronto’s Deep Genomics, and Atomwise run from San Francisco.

Photo credit: University of Toronto