Innovators of Color

Martin Basiri

Founder & CEO, Passage

Co-Founder, ApplyBoard

Martin Basiri is Founder & CEO of Passage, which helps immigrants by providing financial access, and Co-Founder & former CEO of ApplyBoard, the largest international student recruitment platform. Martin, an inventor from a young age, began his own international student journey in 2010 where he got his Masters in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Realizing the opportunity international students had at their fingertips, he helped his brothers, Meti and Massi, navigate the same complex process of applying to study abroad, and the three of them founded ApplyBoard in 2015.

Martin served as CEO of ApplyBoard from 2015 to 2022. Under his leadership it grew to a team of 1500+ helping 500K+ students with their study abroad journey from 130+ countries. During this time, ApplyBoard partnered with 1,600+ schools across Canada, US, UK, Australia & Ireland. ApplyBoard became globally recognized with a valuation of $3B+, and attracting $500 million in investments.

At ApplyBoard, Martin noticed a limitation. There were many deserving students who he wished to help who did not have the financial means to do so. Driven by his passion for the mission of “educating the world”, he started Passage in 2023. Continuing his work at ApplyBoard, Martin is now building the financial infrastructure for smart immigration so that anyone with the drive and aspiration can radically change their lives through social mobility.