Search for the Academic Director, Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

From: Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research & Innovation
Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations
Date: January 8, 2016
Re: Search for the Academic Director, Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

We are pleased to invite applications and nominations for an Academic Director to provide academic oversight to the activities of the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BBCIE).

The Banting and Best buildings were repurposed as the Banting and Best Centre in 2012. This facility now houses approximately twenty, rent-paying, later stage spin-off companies, five commercialization support agencies and the Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO). The facility also includes the BBCIE, which serves as the central coordinating office for student related entrepreneurial activity across the three campuses of the University. This ecosystem consists of nine incubators and accelerators as well as the Banting and Best Centre. Together, these spaces and related university services provide a comprehensive support system for university-based student entrepreneurs and recent graduates.

BBCIE was conceived, is supported, and is governed by the Faculties of Applied Science and Engineering, Arts & Science, Medicine, and the Rotman School of Management, as well as UTM and UTSC. As such, it represents a unique tri-campus partnership and is itself an “intrapreneurial” venture within U of T. Incubators and accelerators include; the Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab; The Engineering Hatchery, the Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL) and the Impact Centre, both at the Faculty of Arts & Science; START at UTIAS; UTest hosted by VP Research; The Hub at UTSC; ICube at UTM; and Health Innovation Hub at the Faculty of Medicine. In addition, BBCIE is the main point of contact with JLabs @ Toronto, a bio-pharma incubator partnership with MaRS, MaRS Innovation and Johnson and Johnson the latest addition to the UofT entrepreneurial eco-system.

BBCIE’s focus is to:

  • Collaborate with/engage external partners, including investors and provincial government bodies, in order to enhance entrepreneurial activity at the University; and
  • Support the internal units at U of T faculties, departments, and campuses – by funding entrepreneurial activity and facilitating communication and collaboration.

In 2014/15, the University’s incubators and accelerators worked with 226 student led start-up teams and produced 79 registered companies. These companies created jobs for more than 700 founders and students, attracted more than $18M in investment, and generated $2.4M in sales.

As well as the UofT incubators and accelerators there are, currently, more than 68 courses and programs focused on entrepreneurship and Innovation available to students across various faculties: In the 2014 academic year more than 2300 students were able to learn about and experience entrepreneurship by taking part in these U of T offerings.

BBCIE is overseen by a management committee co-chaired by the Vice-President, University Operations and the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Recognizing that the academic side of student entrepreneurship is an important part of the ecosystem, and in order to support that aspect of university life, BBCIE is seeking an academic director.

In collaboration with the Managing Director, BBCIE, and the Assistant Vice-President, Innovation, Partnerships & Entrepreneurship, the Academic Director of BBCIE will facilitate:

  • Discussions on opportunities for collaboration on academic programs and courses across CLAs and divisions. Based on consultation with academic divisions the Academic Director will identify opportunities for cross-divisional initiatives such as a shared minor in entrepreneurship;
  • Coordination of academic input in the development of funding proposals to support university-wide innovation and entrepreneurship activities in conjunction with academic divisions;
  • In collaboration with academic divisions and appropriate Vice-Presidents, the support of the development of an Entrepreneurial Advisory Council;
  • Provision of guidance on appropriate international activities related to entrepreneurship; and,
  • Discussions with external parties to build relationships and secure funding for development and strengthening of U of T’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The BBCIE Academic Director will be an experienced U of T academic recognized for both scholarship and entrepreneurial activities. The ideal candidate will be a skilled relationship builder, a gifted communicator and be able to effectively represent the University of Toronto to a broad range of stakeholders. Appointment as the Academic Director will be for a five-year term, renewable following a favourable review.

Interested parties should submit a cover letter and resume to by January 21, 2016. For more information, please contact:
Helen Lasthiotakis
Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships
Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation

The University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.