The story of how David Ellington joined LUMO Labs’ Scientific and Industrial Advisory Board is the story of how a European innovator impressed a The Valley player, an investor. Because of his global connections, Ellington is a keen observer of the evolving post-Trump relationship between the United States and the Netherlands.
With typical American modesty, serial entrepreneur David Ellington describes himself as a man who has circled the globe at least ten times. Traveled to 17 cities and 100 villages in India. Lived in Tokyo. Got a Masters in African Politics. Studied in Singapore. Worked for a law firm in Bangkok. Lived in Paris and London.
Lawyer, deal maker and influencer
Now, Ellington is a San Francisco-based block chain lawyer, deal maker, and influencer. When he and LUMO Labs founder Andy Lürling met, it was – fittingly – at the legendary Big Sur thought leader retreat Esalen Institute, where Ellington was chilling and Andy was attending an AI conference.
The chance meeting was the beginning of a mutual pollination of two different ecosystems – the globally dominating Silicon Valley and the high-tech capital of Europe.
Andy wasn’t what David expected … a European he calls “super entrepreneurial”.
“I think Andy is hungry. I find this unusual among most Europeans I meet in terms of the type of entrepreneurial energy I’m used to in The Valley / Bay Area. “
In fact, Andy fits right in with Silicon Valley, he said. “His ambition. His hunger. His willingness to learn. From the latest technology to structuring a business to networking … these are the things he loves to do, and I found that a bit unusual from my usual dealings with people I meet on the continent. “
“Then I found out he was a racing driver and that explains a bit about that. That’s his personality. “Andy Lürling is not actually a racing driver, but has tested advanced technology in high-performance sports cars.
“More like an allocator”
Lürling knew Ellington’s business background and became active in his Silicon Valley Blockchain Society. He was also familiar with Ellington’s history as an institutional investor with connections to limited partners, the people and institutions that invest in venture capital, and hoped to capitalize on those relationships.
Ellington is a strategic advisor with a foothold in Silicon Valley – the Bay Area and San Francisco, as well as technology and finance. Institutional financing in particular is his specialty.
Ellington describes himself as a “successor (investment),” so I am not claiming to have any expertise as a venture capitalist. I’m more of an allocator. I’m used to working with limited partners and identifying fund managers. When Andy came along, I said, “If I were an LP that wrote a check, would I write a check to a man like Andy?” And I said, “Yeah, I think I would.” ”
This is an important endorsement for LUMO Labs and Eindhoven as David Ellington’s resume is exceptional, starting with his law degree at Georgetown University Law School in Washington, DC where he focused on international, corporate and tax law. He completed Cornell University’s language program in Japanese.
He then founded Emory Capital Group, a private investment vehicle that he has operated for 13 years. He also founded NetNoir, an early social media platform that a number of companies invested in, including Time Warner.
Somewhere there he found the time to become the trustee and president of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS), one of the largest retirement systems in California with $ 25 billion in assets under management. He currently participates in the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society, an invitation-only curated blockchain investment platform that features chapters in financial capitals and startup ecosystems around the world.
“I just think there’s a surprising, unusual window of time.”
Due to COVID-19 and the turmoil in the US political process, David is increasingly positive about the Netherlands as it is an English-speaking country with an incredible talent base and a long history of global business. “I just think there is a surprising, unusual window of opportunity – one that promises to open further with Brexit and the change in administrations in 2021.”
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David Ellington and Andy Lürling