Abbas Kazmi MA FRSA is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, investor and ecosystem builder who founded his first of several companies at 16. At age 25, he leads Collegiate Capital, a $100m venture capital fund.
An academic scholar both at Westminster School and Oxford University (at New College), he has extensive work experience both in the startup-space and commercial world, including at financial powerhouses such as BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and many others across finance, consulting, commodities, private equity, and venture capital. He has worked alongside nearly all the leading private equity and sovereign-wealth funds in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, including ADIA. Chairman and co-founder of the illustrious Oxford Guild, which he has built into the largest university society in Europe and the world as of 2015 according to Forbes, The Times and BBC, he has built Guild branches in Cambridge, LSE as well as creating a wider network of the top 40 universities globally including the entire Ivy League and Russell Group.
Through these enormous networks, he is committed to inspiring and teaching new generations of changemakers. CEO and founder of the Oxford Accelerator and a former UK Undergraduate of the Year award winner, Abbas has been named as one of the Entrepreneurs of the Year by NACUE and as a ‘One to Watch’ by Freshminds. Abbas is also the President and founder of Collegium and of I on the Future at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is a member of the Milken Institute’s Young Leaders’ Circle and is a co-founder of their MENA region group. Abbas is part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme through AFFINITY which was chosen for Mass Challenge London Accelerator 2016-17 as one of the top 100 companies out of over 1,400. Recently he was recognized and selected by the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as an Arab Youth Pioneer and was invited to speak at the prestigious World Government Summit in Dubai.
He has won several awards, holds various fellowships including at Kairos and the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (he is one of their youngest ever fellows) and board advisory positions, and has featured in the BBC, the Financial Times, the Telegraph, TIME, Forbes and many other media outlets around the world in four continents thus far. He has also co-founded an educational social enterprise, Ascend Africa, which aims to inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs and leaders.
He has been the driving force behind some notable events such as Kanye West’s guest lecture at Oxford and the Upstart Word Summit and competition as well as the Global Fintech & Blockchain Conference that he co-founded and grew out of the London Fintech Conference. Abbas is an avid traveller and languages enthusiast who enjoys mentoring budding young businesspeople, building connections between Asia, Europe, and the US, and public speaking at events and conferences around the world such as the Milken Institute Summit, World Government Summit, Brexit & Global Expansion Summit, Forbes Asia Summit, GO Youth Conference, 48 Forward Conference, London Fintech Conference and especially at universities – he is especially keen to further develop entrepreneurial ecosystems on campuses and empower future generations of students.