Bert Ellis is an active entrepreneur in the media and technology industries, having founded and operated numerous companies, both private and public. He has managed high growth companies and achieved significant returns for his investors. Ellis primarily manages acquisitions, strategic relationships, and fund raising for his companies but has also been integrally involved in programming, sales and operations, engineering and capital expenditures.
From 2001 until 2002, Ellis served as the Vice-Chairman and a Director of Scient, Inc., a company formed in November 2001 by the merger of Scient Corp. and iXL Enterprises. Ellis founded iXL in 1996 and served as its Chairman until the merger with Scient. IXL and Scient were IT consulting firms focused on internet integrations for Fortune 500 companies. From a standing start in 1996, iXL and Scient grew to a global company with a combined market cap of almost $6B with a $1B per year revenue run rate, 58 offices and over 6000 employees.
Prior to founding iXL, Ellis founded and served from 1993 to 1996 as President and CEO of Ellis Communications, an Atlanta-based company that owned and operated thirteen television stations, two radio stations and Raycom, a sports production and marketing firm. Ellis Communications was purchased in September 1996 for $840M and now operates as Raycom Media.
From 1986 to 1992, Ellis founded and served as President and CEO of Act III Broadcasting, a broadcast group comprised of eight Fox-affiliate television stations. Act III Broadcasting was sold to Sullivan Broadcasting in 1995 for $530M.
Prior to Act III, Ellis served as the Director of Marketing and the Director of National Cable Sales for Turner Broadcasting and prior to that as the Director of Program Budgeting for Home Box Office.
Ellis has served on numerous civic and charitable boards including the Board of Trustees of the University of Virginia Graduate Business School, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the San Diego Zoo. Mr. Ellis holds a MBA from the UVA Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia. Ellis has been married for 31 years to Deborah Hicks Ellis and has two daughters, Callie and Brent.
Richard Fraim serves as President & COO for Ellis Capital, a venture capital and merchant banking firm focused on early-stage investments in the media, internet technology, healthcare, and financial technology industries. Fraim joined Ellis Communications in 2011, and is responsible for all aspects of the investment process, including: deal sourcing, deal structuring, due diligence, investment monitoring, and operational support of portfolio companies.
At Ellis Capital, Fraim has made investments in more than twenty-five companies spanning a wide range of industries and stages. These investments have included exits such as Vitrue (acquired by Oracle in 2012), MOVL (acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2013), Timeline Labs (acquired by SeaChange International in 2015), Crisp Mobile (acquired by Quotient Technology in 2017), and Smartvue Corporation (acquired by Johnson Controls 2018).
Fraim currently serves on the Board of Directors for NOWaccount Network Corporation, Inc, Softwear Automation Inc, and Mobile Search Security LLC. He also serves as board observer to Brightwell Payments, NexDefense, Sequr, Vivex Biologics, and VoAPPs. He also serves as a mentor to the Techstars Atlanta program.
Prior to joining Ellis Capital, Fraim worked at Private Advisors LLC, a $3.5 billion asset management firm located Richmond, VA that specializes in alternative investment strategies. At Private Advisors, Fraim was responsible for portfolio and risk analysis on a $2.5 billion portfolio of hedge fund investments, and also served on the firm’s hedge fund risk committee. Fraim was also involved in the management, monitoring, and due diligence of investments.
Fraim holds a MS Commerce degree with a concentration in finance from the McIntire School of Commerce, where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Debra Davis has served as Executive Assistant to Bert Ellis in many of his business ventures for over twenty-five years. At Ellis Communications, she oversees all operational responsibilities, including financial oversight and office administration. Davis also provides operational assistance and human resource management to Titan Broadcasting, a television broadcasting group that manages 15 television stations nationwide. Prior to joining Ellis Communications, Davis held similar responsibilities with iXL and Act III Broadcasting.
Davis holds a BS Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama.