John Ellis

Chairman, Board of Directors

John has over 35 years of experience in technology startups and computer-science research, in entrepreneurial, managerial, and technical roles. He co-founded two big-data Internet startups, ad network Turn and online marketer Post Communications, both with successful exits. He led the product and technology turnaround of tarnished search pioneer Alta Vista, ending with an acquisition by Overture and then Yahoo.

Most recently, John was a partner at accelerator Tandem Capital, working in-house with early stage startups on their business and product plans, team building, and fund raising. He identified the Tile team and helped them launch one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns for its wildly popular Bluetooth tracker, and he worked closely with the PacketZoom founder to develop a successful product and business plan for his core networking technology.

John consulted for Amazon’s A9 division for many years, improving team and software processes, leading ad-tech recruiting, and providing detailed guidance on Amazon’s first implementation of machine-learned ranking of search results.

As Entrepreneur in Residence at New Enterprise Associates, he led the launch of Data Domain, an enterprise storage provider acquired by EMC in 2009 for $2.1B.

John spent over 15 years at Xerox PARC, Digital Equipment’s Systems Research Center, and Yale University, researching compilation for VLIWs, programming environments, distributed computing, garbage collection, and wireless PDAs, and receiving two patents in programming-language implementation. He received a BSE from Princeton University and a PhD from Yale University, and his dissertation won the 1985 Association for Computing Machinery Best Dissertation Award and was published by MIT Press.

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