Elliott's blog

A photo diary of my adventures

About Elliott Bisnow

With my parents and brother on a family trip in 2011

I was born in 1985 and raised in Washington DC.  I grew up playing tennis everyday and achieved a national ranking in the 18’s of 37 in the United States. My mentors and coaches were Vessa Ponka, Martin Blackman and Jarred Snyder. Without their guidance, I would never have made it in tennis, business or life.

When I arrived at the University of Wisconsin on a tennis scholarship, I had lots of business ideas. I picked the two best and spent freshman and sophomore years trying to launch a tshirt business and then a creative consulting firm. Neither worked. On July 1st, 2006 during the summer before my Junior year of college my dad offered me a job selling advertising at his email newsletter called Real Estate Weekly, which he was doing as a hobby. We had zero revenue and zero employees.

This is a photo of our original team and one of our first offices. I’m in the back and my dad is on the left side with his hands in the air

Today, Bisnow Media Corporation is the largest publisher of commercial real estate news in America and has become an incredible success story. We have 75 employees, host 200+ business conferences a year and publish 24 newsletters in 15 US cities.  I am so proud to have worked with my dad (Founder, Chairman & Editor in Chief) and our earliest employees Aram Taghavi (SVP Sales), Mounir Salhi (CTO) and Doug Anderson (our first COO).

My best friends and co-workers: Ryan Begelman & Mark Bisnow

In January of 2009, I shifted roles to Vice Chairman and day to day operations were transitioned to our current COO, Ryan Begelman, who joined us from the Carlyle Group. It was my time to take Summit Series, a 19 person ski trip I’d hosted the previous year, to the global conference we hoped it could become.

Yosi Sergant and David Washington gave Summit Series our big break when they invited us to host an event at the White House in March, 2009. I talk about it in this 2 minute video

Summit Series has grown from 19 attendees to 60 attendees to 125 attendees to 250 attendees to 750 attendees to 1,100 attendees.

Four of the original Summit Series attendees:  Joel Holland (the first person to ever accept an invitation to Summit Series), Blake Mycoskie (one of the first 5 people to accept an invitation), Jake Strom and Rob Jewell

From 19 attendees in 2008 to 1,100 attendees in 2011. A standing ovation for Sean Stephenson at our most recent gathering, Summit at Sea in April, 2011

Today, at Summit Series, we’re trying to build a community of like minded entrepreneurs, each trying to make the world a better place. Through our annual gatherings (DC10 & Summit at Sea), self-organized local Summit gatherings, and a community-based social network we’re hoping to help create friendships, spawn new business ideas and tackle global issues.   We are proud to have launched our own venture fund (investments in startups that innovate through new technologies and social activism), co-created the Get Well Soon Tour (a music tour taking world renowned musicians to play with children at Hospitals), raised $2 million for 25 non profits, and been able to meet and spend time with incredible folks who have mentored us.

President Clinton speaks at Summit Series DC10 in Washington DC

Moderating Russell Simmons in Washington DC

We’ve met many people, but the four of us have been like brothers the past three years. With Summit Series Co-Founders: Jeff Rosenthal, Jeremy Schwartz & Brett Leve

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