Before Vannadium was born, our founders Rick Gilchrist (CEO) and Walt Rampata (CXO) were in the business of weeding out the bad actors in the legal cannabis related industry.
An industry known to be highly regulated, it started out as ‘the wild west,’ where Cannabis cowboys took advantage of the federally-imposed restrictions of credit card payments and digital transactions on dispensaries, and used cash and disparate tools as their biggest loopholes to cook the books and manipulate data.
For years, the industry has been handcuffed from accessing the security and track-and-trace benefits of a federally-regulated, centralized banking system. For Rick and Walt, that problem sparked a lightbulb solution. They founded their first joint company, WeGro Data: a DLT platform built on the blockchain, enabling tokenized transactions, secure and immutable data, and data sovereignty for legal cannabis participants. Now, with an auditable system in place for an industry desperate for compliance tools outside of what’s existed through centralized banking, the team and our seasoned industry advisors were cognizant that this solution could benefit any industry.
But for enterprise and mass-industry adoption, blockchain and Web 3.0 technology still had its limitations of speed and scalability. No company or software had yet to crack the code on being able to load thousands of transactions per second, including massive amounts of data and users on the blockchain, without the cost of adding massive computing power and servers.
Tech geniuses under Scott Lyons (CTO), along with Rick, invented Diffusion: a new, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that harnesses speed, scalability, and data sovereignty in near real-time, without added computing power or the traditional limitations and constrictions of current solutions.
Now having the ability to scale beyond the Cannabis Retail Business (CRB) industry, they rebranded as Vannadium: a name that pays homage to the atomic element Vanadium (a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23). Vanadium, as an element, is usually found combined with other elements, and it is difficult to isolate. Interestingly enough, it changes its color, texture and form based on surrounding forces (different elements, different temperatures, etc).
Our mission is to enable scalability, speed, trust and data sovereignty for everyone through pioneering technology while maintaining a sustainable and carbon-neutral footprint.
Vannadium envisions a future where “Deep Tech” solutions lead the way in tackling complex global challenges. As the preeminent authority on Deep Technology and Web 3.0+ solutions, we strive to empower data sovereignty for all, utilizing our first mover advantage to bring positive change and impact humanity.
Guided by our values of Integrity, Transparency, Inclusivity, and Collaboration, we embrace a diverse talent pool to foster unique perspectives and innovative ideas. Our commitment extends to creating an environment where every employee feels valued and free to be their authentic selves, irrespective of their background, race, gender, or sexual orientation. We firmly believe that respect and inclusion fuel creativity and success. Vannadium is dedicated to driving positive change in our company and industry, where diversity is not just a part of our identity but a source of real value. Moreover, our focus on diversity extends to our suppliers and the entire value chain, ensuring that inclusivity and collaboration are integral components of our ecosystem and the solutions we provide to the world.
Vannadium provides the “connective tissue” and interoperability for distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a method for securely replicating, sharing, and synchronizing data across a distributed computer network with speed and scale.
Our novel approach does not rely on a central authority or a single point of failure. It uses cryptography and consensus algorithms to ensure the accuracy, security and integrity of the data. DLT can be either permissioned or public, depending on the access and use restrictions. Blockchain is the most common form of DLT, but there are other forms that allow for controlled revision or deletion of data to support privacy requirements.
Vannadium is led by a seasoned team of world-class experts in FinTech, Blockchain, Digital Growth, Business, and Information Security.
Rick Gilchrist is a visionary CEO and co-founder with a remarkable track record of 13 successful entrepreneurial ventures, including 5 highly successful exits. With his strategic prowess, Gilchrist has transformed innovative concepts into substantial revenue within a short span of time. He achieved his fastest exit from a $2.5M investment to an impressive $58M valuation in just 10 months. As the former co-founder and COO of New Frontier Data and Addemar, he has demonstrated his aptitude for strategic leadership and operational excellence. Gilchrist’s visionary force has played a pivotal role in the success of G&H Scholastic Solutions and RDX Group, achieving impressive valuations and acquisitions. With his wealth of experience and expertise, Gilchrist is poised to drive growth, innovation, and success for Vannadium’s core mission.
Walt Rampata is a dynamic leader with over 30 years of experience in business management and marketing. As the former Co-Founder and President of MindBuzz National Hemp & Cannabis Marketing Firm, he has been at the forefront of the booming Cannabis and Hemp industries for over a decade. His remarkable tenure includes serving as a Board Member of Infinity Patient Bio Partners, reflecting his commitment to advancing the field of healthcare. With a driving vision of helping humanity, Rampata’s compounded expertise is poised to drive Vannadium’s growth, innovation, and market presence to new horizons.
Karis Townsend is an accomplished COO and Chief of Staff with over 15 years of experience in Operations, Sales Engineering, and Management. With a track record of success in Strategic Business Development, Enterprise Sales, and Entrepreneurial Leadership, Townsend has made significant contributions across diverse sectors including Software, Hardware, and Professional Services. Having worked at industry giants like Xerox, Forest Labs, Ricoh, and IKON, Townsend brings invaluable expertise to the table. Her transformative ventures at CannaRegs, Fyllo, Auction.com, and Ten-X demonstrate her ability to drive operational excellence, strategic growth, and innovation. With a multifaceted background and profound insights, Townsend is poised to make a lasting impact on our organization’s success.
Randy Krebs is CFO and CPA of Vannadium. With an exceptional track record of raising and supporting projects exceeding $1 billion over four decades, Krebs’ financial expertise and strategic foresight make him an invaluable asset to Vannadium. As a seasoned Tech and Cannabis CFO, and the founder of multiple successful tech start-ups, Krebs’ entrepreneurial spirit aligns perfectly with our vision. His unique blend of financial acumen, strategic vision, and entrepreneurial tenacity amplifies his role as a key catalyst in steering Vannadium’s financial growth, innovation, and sustainable success into the future.
Scott Lyons is a cybersecurity expert with over 30 years of experience in the technology and hacker industry, spanning both public and private sectors. Throughout their career, they have held various security roles and authored vulnerability and incident response programs for government agencies and commercial entities, preventing significant financial losses. Scott is a former host of Security Weekly’s “Security and Compliance Weekly” podcast and a prominent figure in the information security community, frequently speaking at conferences and serving as a staff member at Defcon and other industry events, contributing their expertise in security engineering and sponsorships, making them a valuable resource for handling complex incidents.
Lindsey Ellison has nearly 30 years experience in brand development, marketing strategy, stakeholder relations, sales, and business development. She has held various senior roles at top brand and marketing agencies such as Bozell Advertising, Carton Donofrio Partners, and most recently as Vice President of Grafik Communications. Lindsey is the former CEO of her venture start-up, Start Over Coaching, Inc., an esteem-based transformation coaching practice, author of two best-selling books, TEDx speaker, and an award-winning podcaster.