5 Minutes With a Visionary: Elliott Bisnow

Editor’s note: As part of CNBC’s “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow” TV documentary, we interviewed thought leaders and visionaries who have paved the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. In a series of Q&As called “5 Minutes with a Visionary,” we discover what has shaped and molded the careers of these innovators. The following interview was conducted via email.

Eliot Bisnow
Source: Adam Dexter
Eliot Bisnow

Elliott Bisnow is not your average 26-year-old. Once a nationally ranked tennis player in the under-18 category, he has gone on to found The Summit Series and Bisnow Media. Summit hosts an annual conference that brings together entrepreneurs, artists and philanthropists in the hope that they will forge relationships that lead to new business ideas. Bisnow Media is an e-newsletter business, focused on providing its readers with information about their business community in cities ranging from New York to Los Angeles.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest success as a tech leader?

There is no greater feeling in business than building a product which impacts people's lives in a profound way. When we look around at the thousands of people who have attended Summit gatherings, it makes us smile to see the new friendships, business partnerships and philanthropic initiatives that each event produces.

Q: What innovation in the last 20 years has had the most positive impact on your life?

The innovations in communication over the last 20 years and the ability now to communicate seamlessly with anyone, at any time, from anywhere around the world has had a huge impact on my life and business.

Q: What current challenge, when resolved, would do the most to change the world?

I believe the quickest and most sure way to reduce poverty, raise living standards and create jobs around the world is to make economies and governments more open and free, thereby encouraging business and entrepreneurship.

Q: If you had the world's intellectual elite all in one room, what thought provoking question would you pose for debate?

I would ask the same question Singularity University asks: How can you affect the lives of 1 billion people over the next 10 years?


Q: What individual or innovator has had the biggest impact on your career?

The people who've had the biggest impact on my career aren't famous business leaders or authors. They are the people around me all the time — the people on our team who inspire me, motivate me and journey with me in our pursuit to change the world.

Editor's Note: This interview has been condensed and edited.

Tune in:

Watch "20 Under 20" on CNBC. Part I Premieres August 13 and Part II Premieres August 14 at 10p ET

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