Summit Series (conference)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Summit Series
Summit Series logo 240.png
TypeConference series
PurposeBusiness networking, philanthropy
HeadquartersPowder Mountain, Utah
Region served

Summit Series is an American organization that hosts conferences and events for young entrepreneurs, artists and activists.[1][2] Events organized by the group include an annual invitation-only conference during which participants discuss topics including business practices, technological innovation, and philanthropy.[3] Summit Series attendees have included Bill Clinton, Ted Turner and Richard Branson.[2] Summit Series was founded in 2008 by Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal, Jeremy Schwartz, and Ryan Begelman.

Since its foundation, the organization has raised more than $2 million for charitable and non-profit organizations.[2] Through its investment fund Summit Action Fund, Summit Series has invested in multiple startup companies, including Uber, and Warby Parker.[4][5][6]


Summit Series was founded in April 2008 by Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal, Jeremy Schwartz, and Ryan Begelman. Rosenthal is involved in many operational aspects of Summit, from planning, design, and development for Summit Powder Mountain, to community curation, strategy, direction of musical and intellectual content programs.[7]

In addition, Rosenthal and his partners are Co-Directors of the Summit Action Fund, which makes investments in startups that drive positive disruptive innovation. Their portfolio includes Uber, Warby Parker, among others.[7] Additionally, Rosenthal serves on the Board of Advisors for Qey Capital[8] and he was a senior advisor to The Rise Fund.[9] Prior to starting Summit Series, Elliot Bisnow co-founded a niche industry e-newsletter business called Bisnow Media.[10] Summit is also a GP in Learn Capital, which focuses exclusively on investments into better and smarter learning. Summit was launched with an invitation-only event organized for young entrepreneurs to meet and gain advice from one another that was hosted at a ski resort in Park City, Utah and attended by 19 people.[11][12] Later in 2008, the group held a similar gathering in Mexico.[13] Initially the organization did not have an official headquarters and the team moved between rented apartments in various countries worldwide.[14]

In 2009, Summit was invited by the Obama administration to curate a meeting at the White House between senior officials and 35 young entrepreneurs.[5][15] In May 2010, Summit held DC10, a three-day conference in Washington, D.C. for 750 people with participants including former President Bill Clinton, Ted Turner, and John Legend.[16] In April 2011, the organization hosted the Summit at Sea conference, where 1,000 young entrepreneurs took a chartered cruise ship from Miami to the Bahamas for a three-day conference featuring Richard Branson, Peter Thiel, GE CMO Beth Comstock,[17] and musical group The Roots.[12]

In April 2013, Summit purchased Powder Mountain,[18] the largest ski resort in America, for a reported $40 million.[19][20] Summit relocated its headquarters to Powder Mountain later that year.[21] The organization hosted its first event at the resort, Summit Outside, in July 2013.[3] Summit is developing a sustainable residential community named Summit Powder Mountain on the mountain. Plans for Summit Powder Mountain include 500 homes and a village of comparable density, a recording studio, conference lodge, startup incubator and an innovation laboratory.[21]


The organization’s focus is to build a community in which attendees support and inspire each other to achieve personal, business, and altruistic goals.[16] Attendees of Summit events have included chief executive Tony Hsieh,[15] music executive Russell Simmons,[3] former football player Dhani Jones,[22] musician Imogen Heap, and founders from YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.[15][23]

In addition to offering keynotes and discussions at its conferences, Summit offers recreational and sporting activities to participants including whitewater kayaking, skydiving,[24] and shark-tagging..[25]

Charitable activities[edit]

Summit Series is focused on philanthropy and has raised more than $2 million for charities and non-profits.[3][14] Its charitable activities include a partnership with the United Nations to raise funds for the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign.[26] The Summit Series held an auction to support the campaign, offering a private meeting with Ted Turner and Kofi Annan to the winner,[26] and ultimately raised more than $150,000.[15] In July 2009, Summit Series members met at the home of Russell Simmons to brainstorm with President Clinton and to raise money for the Clinton Foundation.[15] The event raised $265,000.[14]Following its Summit at Sea conference in 2011, the organization raised more than $800,000 for The Nature Conservancy to create a marine protected area in the Bahamas.[27]

Summit Series Action Fund[edit]

Summit Series invests in startup companies through its Summit Action Fund. Companies the fund has invested in include Uber, and Warby Parker.[4][5]


  1. ^ Andy Isaacson (February 27, 2012). "Summit Series: TED Meets Burning Man". Wired Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c John Koetsier (December 3, 2012). "Summit Series buys a mountain in Utah to host conferences, retreats, and entrepreneurship". Venture Beat. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Steven Bertoli (July 31, 2013). "Summit Outside: What Happens When 900 Entrepreneurs Go Camping Atop Powder Mountain?". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Courtney Boyd Myers. "Entrepreneurial events firm Summit Series acquires Utah's Powder Mountain ski resort for $40m". The Next Web. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Susan Berfield (June 23, 2011). "Sun Valley for the Zynga Generation". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  6. ^ "Initiatives". Summit Series. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Jeff Rosenthal, Summit Co-Founder | Group Y". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  8. ^ "Jeff Rosenthal: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. ^ Quartz; Quartz. "Meet the new Quartz Pros: Jennifer Blanke, Jessica Davidoff, Jeff Rosenthal, Roxanne Taylor, Ryan Walsh". Quartz. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  10. ^ Del Rey, Jason (2009-10-01). "30 Under 30: No. 19 Elliott Bisnow". Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  11. ^ Courtney McCarthy (November 25, 2008). "Young entrepreneurs bond on the beach". CNET. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Steven Bertoni (April 6, 2011). "Summit Series Takes the Party to the Open Seas". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "30 Under 30". Inc. Magazine. 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  14. ^ a b c Annie Gowen (4 January 2010). "Elliott Bisnow brings other young entrepreneurs together in Summit Series". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  15. ^ a b c d e Mark Cohen (9 July 2009). "A Mutual Aid Society for Young Entrepreneurs". New York Times. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  16. ^ a b Daphne Oz (7 May 2010). "Summit Series DC10: What to do with 150 years of life". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Innovation". Summit Series. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Why Buy A House When You Can Buy A Mountain?". NPR. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Yep, Summit Series Just Raised $40 Million to Buy That Mountain". The New York Observer. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  20. ^ Madison Khan (December 11, 2012). "New Owner for Powder Mountain". ESPN. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Joao Medeiros (October 28, 2013). "Startup Summit Group buys a mountain". Wired Magazine (UK). Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "Personal Growth". Summit Series. May 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  23. ^ Bridget Carey (7 November 2009). "Uninhibited Conference Attracts Young CEOs". The Miami Herald.
  24. ^ Grayson Schaffer (14 June 2010). "Good Fellas". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  25. ^ McNicholas, Kym (26 July 2011). "Peter Thiel, Kristen Bell And Summit Series Community Are Saving Sharks". Forbes. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Summit Series Announces Spontaneous Philanthropy Drive" (Press release). Business Wire. 4 April 2009.
  27. ^ Courtney Boyd Myers (March 19, 2012). "One year after entrepreneurs gather for Summit at Sea, nearly $1 million is raised to protect the ocean". The Next Web. Retrieved January 8, 2015.

External links[edit]