Board of Directors
Passage CEO & Founder
Martin Basiri is Founder and CEO of Passage, which enables immigrants and international students by providing financial access, and Co-Founder and former CEO of ApplyBoard, the world’s largest online international student recruitment platform. Martin, an inventor from a young age, founded his first startup during his undergraduate studies in Iran, where he created and sold six different inventions. His own international student journey began 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, ApplyBoard grew to a team of 1500+ assisting more than 500,000 students with their study abroad journey from more than 130 countries. During this time ApplyBoard partnered with over 1,600+ schools across Canada, US, UK, Australia and Ireland. ApplyBoard was named the fastest growing tech company in Canada and became globally recognized with a valuation of over $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 commitment and passion for the mission of “educating the world”, he started Passage in 2023. Passage’s goal is to provide financial access for deserving individuals that – through no fault of their own – grew up without the means to fulfill their potential. Continuing and augmenting his work at ApplyBoard as a board member, Martin now is building the financial infrastructure for smart immigration so that anyone with the drive and aspiration can radically change their lives through social mobility.