Alumni Profile - Elias Bizannes (BCom '05)


Elias Bizannes

Name: Elias Bizannes

Current Position, Organisation: General Manager, Silicon Valley Foundry LLC (better known as the company behind StartupBus and StartupHouse)

Describe yourself in 3 words: Entrepreneurial, adventurous, creative

Nationality/cultural identity: Born in Australia, with a Greek heritage

Languages spoken: English, Greek

Countries lived/worked in: Australia, United States

Best book you have read in the last 12 months: "Call me Ted", by Ted Turner

Daily website 'favourites': Techmeme, Facebook, Twitter, Stratfor Global Intelligence

Motto to live/work by: Think big; talk small; walk but don't run.

Linkedin Profile: Elias Bizannes

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sydney Business School?

I wanted a top tier education in business that could be complemented by a strong campus extra-curricula life, like what I ended up experiencing with the Clubs and Societies program.

What is your most favourite memory from your time at the University?

Running near naked in a box that modestly covered my body parts during the Honi Soit elections shouting out "Think outside of the box: vote for id". I ran into the Eastern Avenue Complex and shouted that out in the middle of the theatre during one of the marketing mid-terms. As an aside, I'm told if you visit the graffiti tunnel now, you will still see the graffiti for "id" that we did during the campaign.

What does being a University of Sydney Business School alumnus/na mean to you?

Foundation of knowledge.

I keep thinking about the things I learned at university which make more sense now that I am in the field eight years on, having worked in professional services (PricewaterhouseCoopers), a Silicon Valley search engine start-up (Vast.com), venture capital (Charles River Ventures) and now on my own business. Everything I learned during my undergraduate degree has remained relevant and useful, even though I didn't appreciate it at the time.

How did your time at the Business School change you both professionally and personally?

It's hard to quantify what change the school had on me, but I can attest to the impact it had because of the people I met.  I met some of my best friends at the school that to this day are in my life. I will never forget how refreshing it was to start at University with a group of people who I considered like minded, that outside of my studies challenged my thinking and opened my eyes to the world.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

I went backpacking around Europe and the Middle East for nine months. Best thing I ever did.

What has been the greatest accomplishment of your career to date?

Finishing my education at university and at the Institute of Chartered Accountants. It was a tough six years but it has laid a solid foundation for the rest of my career.

What business person inspired you most?

Ted Turner

What are some of your favourite things about Sydney?

The quality of life: Sydney is not number one in any one factor, but it's in the top three of everything when compared to the rest of the world.

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering study at the Business School?

Get some exposure to computer science: it's the future of all industries. And try and start a project on the side that makes you money, like a business (as opposed to a summer job).

Any other comments

Doubt your doubts.

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