Calling young problem-solvers: Applications are open for the CDL Apprentice Program

Creative Destruction Lab invites women+ aged 14-18 with an interest in STEM to apply for the CDL Apprentice Program

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TORONTO — Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is looking for curious, open-minded problem-solvers between the ages of 14 and 18 for its 2022/23 Apprentice Program. The vision of the CDL Apprentice Program is to create an immersive, technology-focused learning experience for young students that expands their awareness of possible career paths and increases the probability that young women+ individuals pursue opportunities in STEM, business and entrepreneurship.

CDL is a fast-paced, objectives-based program for science and technology-based startups. Founders are mentored by experienced entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders to hone their company’s mission and increase its likelihood of success. 

Guided by our three pillars, learning to learn, learning to do and learning to be, Apprentice participants will have the opportunity to increase their understanding of technology and its commercial applications, get exposure to a diverse range of careers in STEM and develop their leadership potential.

“Our mission at CDL is to commercialize science for the betterment of humankind,” said Sonia Sennik, the Executive Director of CDL. “There is a gender gap in technology entrepreneurship. Our thesis is that this is in part due to exposure. When young women are exposed to early-stage entrepreneurs they realise that this career path is inspiring and within their reach. They also see first-hand the hard work and commitment required to succeed as a founder - and better understand how the decisions they make in high school and beyond have a direct impact on their ability to compete and thrive in this type of endeavour later in their life.”

Effective fall 2022, CDL is pleased to announce that Scotiabank has joined the Apprentice Program as a founding partner. Scotiabank’s sponsorship of $1.6 million will help support CDL’s mission to ignite greater gender diversity in STEM and entrepreneurship.

“We are pleased to help extend STEM apprenticeship opportunities to girls in high school who may not otherwise have access,” said Michael Zerbs, Group Head, Technology & Operations at Scotiabank. “Through this investment, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the education, future employment potential and resilience of young women across Canada.”

The ideal candidates are young women+ individuals, including two-spirit, transgender and non-binary individuals, between 14 and 18 years of age. A curious, open-minded person who enjoys testing ideas and solving problems – someone looking to connect with others with similar interests in STEM, business and entrepreneurship. 

“While I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in STEM, the CDL Apprentice Program opened my eyes to a world of possibilities,” said Serena Kassam, a CDL Apprentice. “It allowed me to directly engage engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs, learn from their first-hand experiences and challenge my thinking.” 

Kassam said that she now wants to become a biomedical engineer so she can find solutions to common challenges in health care.

CDL Apprentice students will participate in educational modules about emerging technologies such as AI, FinTech, Blockchain, Health and Energy. CDL Apprentices will learn about the essential costs and benefits that change with the adoption of new technology, and, in turn, the types of industries, businesses, investments and jobs that are likely to be impacted. 

A selection of CDL Apprentice students will be invited to join a global symposium for International Women’s Day in spring 2023. The summit will be a culmination of the CDL community, including world business leaders, leading scientists, engineers, economists, and start-up founders from around the globe, who will share valuable insights on frontier edge technologies and their experiences in entrepreneurship.

“There is no instruction manual for a career in tech. That’s why initiatives like CDL’s Apprentice Program are so critical to the success of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Eva Lau, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Two Small Fish Ventures. “I had a great time being paired with a young person with aspirations to raise a crypto fund. The entire experience was inspiring and educational — for both of us.”

Ananya Chadha, another CDL Apprentice student, said she was surprised CDL was so different from reality TV.

“Shark Tank is cool, but world-changing companies are on a different wavelength,” she said. Chadha said she learned that high-impact companies could only be founded by people with deep knowledge of complex fields. “If you pick the right field to go into for university, something game-changing, you have a really big chance for success,” she wrote.

Applications for the CDL Apprentice Program’s 2022/23 cohort are now open. For more information contact:


CDL Apprentice Program

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