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A Brief History of ApplyBoard and Its Founders

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Some of you may wonder, how did ApplyBoard begin? What’s its background story? What makes it unique? Who are the founders?

Read our story to learn about the history of ApplyBoard.

The Beginning

The story begins with founders and Iranian immigrant brothers, Martin, Meti and Massi Basiri.

From the young age of 14, CEO and eldest brother, Martin, has had a passion for innovation. With a pre-existing Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree from Shiraz University in Iran, Martin set out for a higher education. This time, he had a desire to explore his master’s degree in Canada.

After extensive research for the best possible program, Martin applied for Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering at University of Waterloo in 2010. What he didn’t realize was how long it would take to arrive at the university and begin his studies.

Despite receiving a scholarship offer, Martin faced a range of obstacles. From paperwork and academic grade conversion, to securing admission and a student visa, he felt the process was never ending. By the time his application was approved and he was enrolled into courses, it had been roughly one year. Needless to say, it was a very frustrating and lengthy process. One which may cause many foreign students to quit their applications and forget the thought of studying abroad.

“The process was very hard. Application, visa, information in general is so fragmented. You go website by website to gain information. There’s not a trusted source that you just go and gain all your information.”

When Meti and Massi felt it was the right time to begin their education abroad, Martin lent his assistance. After his experience, he was well-versed in the process. So much so, he reduced their application time to just a couple of months.

Many families in Iran learned about their experiences and sought their expertise in helping their children study internationally. Word spread like rapid fire and eventually, what began as a hobby turned into a small business.

Throughout this process, the Basiri brothers recognized the various difficulties that come with international students wanting to pursue studying abroad. They also noticed how many students were keen on studying abroad and weren’t able to do so without guidance.

In 2015, ApplyBoard was founded. It first began in University of Waterloo’s Velocity Garage, a popular incubator, later moving into its own office in 2018. The company set its mission to make the best education accessible to students worldwide, regardless of their nationality or location. ApplyBoard wants to make a difference in our world today, one student at a time. Education is a human right for all, not a privilege.

Meti Basiri, Martin Basiri, and Massi Basiri

From left to right: Meti Basiri, Martin Basiri, and Massi Basiri


Ask yourself this: How many schools can you list off that are located in South Korea?

Not an easy question, is it. Those students who are looking to pursue education in Canada or the United States feel this way; lost and confused. Unsure of where to find the more credible information.

If you’re a current student or have completed your education, how much time did you spend researching various schools?

Information is valuable, but when students set out to research universities and colleges, it’s a challenge. Information can be inconsistent and incredibly fragmented. For most students, it’ll force an insecure and frustrating feeling upon them, making the search for school an unenjoyable one. This is meant to be an exciting time as students are beginning a new journey, a milestone!

ApplyBoard Today

The company has grown immensely since its launch in 2015. ApplyBoard has partnered with over 1000 schools in Canada and the U.S., and has assisted thousands of students.

It hosts a team of 150 employees in its headquarters located in Canada’s tech hub, Waterloo region. To best accommodate its international students, ApplyBoard also has representatives in various countries including China, Nepal, Vietnam and India.

As the industry undergoes drastic changes, the number of students pursuing international education in Canada increases. In 2017 and 2018 alone, it has grown by 10 percent, reaching a total of 543,977 students.

International students play a significant role in contributing to Canada’s growing economy. Through the tremendous increase, students create a positive impact.

ApplyBoard continues to expand globally and help international students achieve their dreams of studying abroad.

ApplyBoard is here to guide you in every step of your student application. Visit the FAQ page for more information on the company. Have you already been accepted by your host school? Visit our blog to learn your next steps.

For more facts and figures on Canada’s performance and potential in international education, please visit the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Adrianna Dyczkowsky, Public Relations Specialist at ApplyBoard


The most important stories in international education, backed by data