Co-Founder, Affinis Labs
Shahed is co-founder and CTO of Affinis Labs, an award-winning social innovation firm that helps clients creatively tackle complex global challenges through entrepreneurship. Through Affinis Labs, he incubates startups for global markets and organizes hackathons to create social impact around the world. As CTO, Shahed helps manage the development and launch of incubated initiatives and builds the technology architecture for portfolio companies. Shahed briefed President Barack Obama on several occasions on the work of Affinis Labs and efforts to bring together American and global Muslim communities. Shahed is also the co-founder of Zakatify, a social impact startup in partnership with the PayPal Giving Fund that turns annual giving into a social experience for Muslim communities and beyond.
From 2011-2014, Shahed served as Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, where he worked on digital diplomacy in the bureaus of Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, and was responsible for building and launching the Generation Change and Viral Peace projects. In 2001, Shahed created Altmuslim, an online magazine with 2.5 million annual unique users, and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years before its 2011 acquisition by Patheos. In 1998, he created Zabihah, the world’s first and largest Halal restaurant guide, with 10 million annual users and 500,000 mobile app downloads. Shahed was also co-founder and CEO of Relatia, a venture-backed mobile software company acquired in 2001.
He has been named three times (2009, 2010, and 2011) as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, one of the 500 most influential entrepreneurs in the global Islamic economy (2015, 2016, 2017), one of the top 10 most visionary young Muslims by Islamica Magazine (2007), and the winner of the SXSW Community Service Award (2007). He has also served on the boards of nearly a dozen national non-profit organizations focused on building stable Muslim-American identities. Shahed has a BS from UC Berkeley (where he served as Student Body Vice-President) and an MBA from Georgetown.
These TED talk-style presentations will highlight businesses and social entrepreneurs that embody Islamic ethics and seek to leverage Muslims’ talent and resources. It will be an inspirational evening with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs.