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Dr. David Ellis

Dr. Ellis was born in the United Kingdom, where he received a British Petroleum scholarship to the University of St. Andrews. He earned an Honours degree in Chemistry in 1964, followed by a Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1967. After university, he joined 3i Group PLC, one of the largest private equity managers in the world. From his original position as Management Trainee, David progressed through the Technology Investment arm (Technical Development Capital Limited) and Regional Management network. After attending the Senior Executive Program at the Sloan School of MIT, David was selected to found and lead the team responsible for 3i’s technology investments and turnaround investments, where he had oversight of over 100 private equity investments.

From 1975 to 1981, David held operational roles in the U.K. and the U.S. for various 3i portfolio companies:

  • COO and CEO of B.H. Blackwell Ltd., the world’s largest distributor of library materials. Acquired its largest competitor, Richard Abel & Company (Portland, Oregon).

  • CFO of Software Sciences International Ltd., a computer systems group specializing in defense systems, air traffic control and newspaper automation. Orchestrated the sale to BOC Group plc.

  • CEO of Software Sciences Inc. In the U.S. book industry, David introduced specialized point-of-sale systems, back-office inventory control systems, and MIS systems, most notably in association with the Ingram Book Company.

In 1982, David acquired Corporate Finance Associates of Georgia (“CFA”), a middle-market investment banking group focused on European companies expanding into the U.S. One of his major successes was the introduction of super-conducting magnet technology into the U.S. for what became the MRI industry; as part of this work, he served on the board of Oxford Instruments Group plc. David was also an advisor and early angel investor in Technical Analysis Corporation (developer of the IRMA board) that became the heart of Digital Communication Associates (DCA).

In 1988, David and Sal launched EGL’s venture capital and private equity business. Based on David’s relationships in British finance circles, they raised capital for EGL’s U.S. venture investments, initially from Mercury Asset Management plc, followed later by the private equity division of The National Westminster Bank. EGL invested in a wide range of sectors, including information technology, healthcare, instrumentation, manufacturing, and distribution businesses, and at all stages of development.

David has been very active in the Atlanta technology community since his arrival in 1979. He co-founded the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta and, in 1998, received the Georgia Technology Forum award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Technology Industry.” He currently serves on the advisory board of the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech, as well as the advisory boards of the Shepherd Center, Neural Signals Inc., and two Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers. David’s memberships include the Technology Association of Georgia, the Technology Executive Roundtable, the British-American Business Group, and the Atlanta Venture Forum.