Strength Through Diversity: How Immigrants Created Canada’s Fastest-Growing Tech Startup

August 13, 2020 10:30 PM UTC
Martin Basiri, CEO of ApplyBoard in conversation with Racquel Cross, Director of Business Development at Terminal

About this event:

ApplyBoard is the world’s largest online platform for international student recruitment and was recognized by Deloitte as Canada’s fastest-growing tech company in 2019. Martin Basiri is the co-founder and CEO of ApplyBoard which has had a truly remarkable journey to date and recently closed their latest round of financing, valuing the company at $1.4 billion. ApplyBoard has over 500 employees in over 20 countries and was founded in Canada by immigrants who faced a long list of obstacles when looking to study abroad and immigrate to another country.

In this Terminal Tech Talk we sit down with Martin Basiri to discuss how he built Canada’s fastest-growing startup and one of the most diverse teams in tech. At ApplyBoard there are over 50 languages spoken, over 30 nationalities represented, and as many women as men on the team.  When asked about ApplyBoard, Canada’s former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, a Canadian immigrant himself, recently said, “This is the answer to that. When people say, what does immigration do for Canada, this is the answer. It’s about innovation, it’s about growth, it’s about jobs and it’s about ambition for our country.”

We will explore a number of key topics including:

  • Diversity of thought, teammates, customers and partners
  • Strength through diversity and scaling to 500+ employees
  • Distributed teams and recruiting talent all around the world
  • Fundraising during a global pandemic and becoming a unicorn
Martin Basiri

About the speaker:

Martin Basiri

CEO at ApplyBoard

Martin is the CEO and Co-Founder of ApplyBoard, an online platform that simplifies the study abroad search, application, and acceptance process for international students. Driven by his belief that education is a right, not a privilege, Martin approaches every business decision with a student-first mentality. Since launching ApplyBoard in 2015, the company has grown to become the world’s largest online platform for international recruitment, assisting more than 100,000 students with their educational journey. 

In 2019, ApplyBoard was named Canada’s fastest-growing technology company by Deloitte, ranking #1 on the Fast50TM list. Martin holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Shiraz University in his native Iran and a Masters of Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Racquel Cross

About the speaker:

Racquel Cross

Director of Business Development at Terminal

Racquel Cross is a proud Latina in tech who is passionate about breaking down barriers and making opportunities more inclusive. She was a senior tech consultant at Apple for almost nine years working closely with CIOs and other executives to help optimize functions within their business’ by leveraging various technology solutions. For the past several years she’s been working closely with engineering leadership to help build the best possible remote and diverse teams.

Racquel has over 12 years of experience in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and many other tech hubs around the world which led her to Terminal where she is the Director of Business Development. Today she supports businesses of all industries and sizes find the best remote strategy for their engineering needs so they can grow faster and make a greater impact on the communities they serve. Along with her passion for creating global opportunities and unlocking human potential she loves animals, sports and giving back to the community!

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