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>Karim Samra

About The Speaker

Karim Samra

Founder, Changelabs. Advisor to CEO, Hult Prize Foundation.Karim started his career working for large multinational companies like General Electric, Barclays Capital, and Booz & Co., where he realized that his passion lies in serving communities and individuals rather than corporations.  He left everything and joined his friend and social enterprise visionary Ahmad Ashkar to help build and grow what is today the Hult Prize, a global movement of youth who are using business as a force for good. With more than 250,000 applicants per year, this is the largest entrepreneurship program of its kind in the world. A few years into his new role, Karim set his sights on the Middle East, its youth, and its debilitating unemployment rate. He helped launch successful youth entrepreneurship programs in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He built long term partnerships between public and private sector players, local and International, to finance educational opportunities for thousands of youth, and to fund some of the region’s most exciting impact startups.     Given the challenges the Middle East faces today, and the incredible demand he witnessed, Karim launched Changelabs,  a dedicated platform for the Middle East and from the Middle East to make sure as many young people as possible could receive training, inspiration, and funding. The company now runs accelerators, festivals, incubators, and learning programs for young people in multiple countries and provides funding for early stage startups, a segment largely missing in the MENA region. Following the COVID crisis and Lebanon’s political instability, Karim launched Beatbox design, a company that aims to provide employment opportunities to Lebanese and Arab creative professionals by offering simple, scalable, and affordable design to startups and established companies around the world.  In addition to being a recognized mentor to startups globally, he also invests in early stage companies and sits on a number of boards across the healthcare, education, and energy sectors through Changelabs, a MAGNITT-rated top MENA accelerator. He works closely with development organizations, the private sector, and leading governments to help design and deliver cutting-edge impact entrepreneurship programs that help ignite and develop local startup ecosystems. He holds a B.A. in History from Boston College, and an M.B.A from NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he was a merit-based scholarship recipient.