BA '14 | Tampa, FL
TITLE: Co-Founder & CEO
Samyr Qureshi struggled in school. An immigrant from the United Arab Emirates, Samyr was challenged at seven years old not only to adapt to a new culture but also overcome the challenge of mastering a new curriculum. Samyr credits the personalized attention he received from a special tutor – his mother – who inspired him to persevere. By the time Samyr graduated from high school, he had already earned an associate degree through dual enrollment. And during that time, he served as student body president of the college (while in high school) and followed in his mother’s footsteps to become a tutor.
After leaving a corporate job at Gartner, in 2016, Samyr and his team beat more than 300 teams to win $25,000 in UF’s Big Idea Business Plan Competition. They applied the grant funding to further develop their winning idea, Knack: a platform for peer-to-peer tutoring.
Despite a formal business degree, studying as a pre-law student, Samyr has learned to become an inspiring CEO of a successful education technology startup at only 27. With previous stints for Nielsen, Gartner, and Apple, being named in the 2020 Class of Forbes 30 Under 30 and Tampa's 2020 Emerging Tech Leader of the Year, Samyr prefers a role in which no two days are the same. The company has secured millions in venture financing from world-class investors, venture capital funds, non-profits, and educational institutions. The same scrappiness that propelled Samyr as an immigrant founder through his early years has kept him on track through the ups and downs of building a mission-driven education startup.
RETURN TO HONOREE LIST