We're the first female-focused
psychedelic drug development company.

Backed by The Conscious Fund, the leading early-stage psychedelic medicine venture capital fund.

Our Founders

Victoria Armstrong

Founder & Chief Operations Officer

Victoria is a 20+ year seasoned professional and passionate leader of people with international experience in rapidly growing startups. The last 13 years as a COO and Director in technology across New Zealand, US and UK. Victoria has worked in five startups, founding three of them, and has a proven track record for building and scaling across various industries. Victoria’s 6-years training in Health sciences alongside success in sales roles gave her the impetus to found her first company in health in 2004. After exiting this, she founded a media & presentation business, then co-founded a SaaS B2B company where she scaled users across 30+ countries and designed and executed the US strategy acquired in early 2021. Victoria holds various board and advisory positions; one currently for a US EdTech business. Victoria blends an entrepreneurial multi-business/model background with a strong bias for problem-solving, action and accountability, underpinned by a love of engaging people at all levels. She enjoys the challenge of scaling technology companies, leading people as they execute on bold visions and collaborative environments that never stand still.

Olivia Mannix

Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Olivia is an American entrepreneur and cannabis & psychedelics business mogul. She founded one of the first ancillary cannabis companies, Cannabrand, in 2013. Olivia is the intuitive leader of a branding and marketing revolution. Olivia is a strategic sensation, and it shows. Being the pioneer behind a movement to destigmatize cannabis and psychedelics, Olivia is a thought leader and visionary in every sense. She recognized the opportunity that the cannabis and psychedelics industries would offer long before it was widely accepted. This uniquely positioned her to disrupt the expectation that cannabis brands and products should remain a fringe industry. Olivia has been recognized on Forbes, PRWeek’s Top 50 Innovators, Adweek’s Young Influentials lists and is a contributor to Adweek.

Vestaen Balbuena

Founder & Chief of Staff

Vestaen is a multifaceted entrepreneur and intrapreneur, focused on incubating and scaling startups in the health, technology and consumer goods industries. Her expertise lies in team and brand management, from leading remote teams to build decentralised security networks across continents to developing agile frameworks resulting in expedited product innovation. Academically, her background is in Nutrition and Biomedical Sciences, holding an MSc from UCL. She specialised in female health and cancer support for 5 years, which has provided her with a robust foundation to target Aphrodite’s women patient needs. She’s redirected her career into marrying her purpose to elevate and promote women’s health with her startup experiences.

Our Innovators

Geraldine P Kuo, MD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Geraldine (Gigi), has been a physician with the San Diego Health System for 20 years.  She specializes in chronic pain and traumatic brain injury and is a co-founder of Monarch Labs and managing director at Athena BioVentures, which invests in start-ups and publicly traded biotech companies. Additionally, she has been a psychedelic pharma consultant to Tryp Therapeutics (CSE: TRYP) and assisted with its initial patents and clinical programs. Academically, she has received the Sidney and Elizabeth Licht award, graduated from Thomas Jefferson University, and completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was chief resident and served on the medical board representing all resident physicians.

Lila Khennouf, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Lila is CSO at Return Health, an emerging biotech focused on treating dementia with psychedelic derivatives. She is also working as a Neuroscientist at the Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology department of University College London (UCL), and specializes in neurodegenerative diseases. She completed her PhD at Copenhagen University on brain metabolism and blood flow, and she holds a master’s degree in Neuropsychopharmacology from the University of Bordeaux in France. She has published her work in high-impact journals and has collaborated with research teams worldwide.

Sud Agarwal, MD

Acting Chief Medical Officer

Dr Agarwal specialized in anesthesia and commercialized several healthcare companies while becoming a successful property developer. In 2016, the cannabis industry caught his eye and became CEO of Cannvalate. Dr Agarwal is an expert in bootstrapping product-market fit.

Luciana Carvalho

Corporate Innovator

Formerly Head of Innovation and Marketing at Beyond, with over 10 years growing award-winning startups. She was recognised as Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 Most Influential People in Tech in 2019, honoured into the BIMA100 Rising Stars in 2018, Founders of the Future and Code First Girls’ ‘25 Ones to Watch’ in 2016.

Henri Sant-Cassia

Corporate Innovator

A founding partner at The Conscious Fund. He serves as a Board Director at MagicMed Industries, is a co-founder of Hive, and is a Board Director of Microdose. Henri was instrumental in establishing The Psychedelic Medicine Association where he acts as an advisor. Henri has spent his working life with plant-based medicines.

Richard Skaife

Corporate Innovator

Richard has over a decade of experience in venture capital. He is a pioneer in mental health: he was the creator of Digipill, a multi-million downloaded mental wellness product; co-creator of the world’s largest dreaming experiment – Dream:ON. He is also co-founder of Hive and serves as the Chair of Microdose.

Anthony Ruizcalderon

Corporate Innovator

Anthony founded and ran GR Capital Investment Partners, an investment firm that invested in start-ups and operators seeking capital and asset management backing. He also served as a Captain in the US Army, and has experience in private equity and investment banking at J.P. Morgan.