Ford Smith

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Ford dedicated his early years as an investor in the dynamic landscapes of psychedelics and cannabis in Los Angeles. Among his initial entrepreneurial endeavors, Ford played a pivotal role as an early investor and partner in Eaze, now recognized as the largest cannabis delivery platform in the United States, and Harborside (now StateHouse Holdings), one of California’s leading vertically integrated cannabis companies.

In 2019, Ford returned to his native Texas and assumed a vital role on the Texas Agriculture Department’s Hemp Council. Here, he passionately champions initiatives aimed at nurturing the regenerative agriculture and industrial hemp sector. Ford’s own mental health journey inspired his commitment to investing in and catalyzing businesses that promote individual healing. He firmly believes that addressing the root causes of mental health disorders, a pursuit encompassing psychedelic therapy, physical fitness, meditation, and the elimination of toxins from one’s diet and environment, empowers individuals to become better stewards of themselves, their communities, and the planet.

In recognition of his contributions, Business Insider honored Ford in 2023 as one of the 45 Most Influential VCs. Beyond his entrepreneurial pursuits, Ford leads an active life as a runner, meditator, and drummer.


Sylvia Rzepniewski

Co-founder and Chief Mission Integration Officer

Sylvia Rzepniewski is an experienced non profit chair, event producer and relationship manager incubating impactful businesses, partnerships, and events at Ultranative.

Sylvia advocates for legislative reforms addressing housing affordability and access to mental health therapies. For the past 15 years she has organized fundraising and public awareness events for non-profits that elevate their communities.

Sylvia is on the Policy Advocacy Committee for Habitat for Humanity Greater Austin and holds a BA in Organizational Sciences from The George Washington University.


Trent Overholt

Ultranative Brands, Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Trent is a seasoned leader who, for the past three years, served as CEO of 14TH Round, North America’s foremost cannabis Design & Technology company. With exclusive manufacturing capabilities and an integrated agency specializing in brand design, hardware, and packaging, Trent oversaw the operational development of products, brands, and standard operating procedures for the top 10 brands in the cannabis industry. Under Trent's leadership, 14TH Round achieved rapid profitability, securing a $3.5 million seed round with a $30 million valuation at seed stage.

In a span of just under two years, Trent successfully launched several of California’s top 10 cannabis brands and secured $16.5 million in straight equity funding for a Series A round, resulting in a $175 million valuation. This substantial investment was instrumental in accelerating growth and expanding capabilities, positioning the company for a pre-IPO valuation of $330 million.

Before his role at 14TH Round, Trent held key positions in the cannabis industry, including General Manager at Eaze and Chief Revenue Officer at Dosist, where he led a brand reset that catapulted Dosist to become one of America’s most recognized and reputable brands in the industry.


Seena Vajed

Chief of Staff

Seena has 6+ years of experience founding, operating, and scaling early stage startups and more recently working in the venture capital industry. He has worked closely with executive founding teams and numerous VC investors across a variety of industries including Digital Mental Health, Enterprise Software, Web3, and Industrial IoT.

At KUDO, an enterprise video conferencing startup based out of New York, he helped raise a $21M Series A round and scaled multiple departments across recruiting, sales, and legal operations from the ground up. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Seena moved to Austin, Texas in 2022 to build a global debt warehousing startup in the DeFi space, and was the leading Principal with the team at GoingVC where he ran their flagship venture capital education program and investment operations. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia and is passionate about the growing role that plant medicines will play in ushering in the renaissance for mental health in the coming decade.

Earlier in his career, Seena pursued a passion for music as a DJ and as an event producer of numerous large scale festivals. More recently he picked up drone videography as a hobby.


Blake Wassenaar

Ultranative Brands, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

Blake is an Executive Creative Director specializing in brand building, consumer product experience, and digital innovation. He has been working in creative advertising and brand consulting for almost two decades and led teams across several global ad campaigns.

In 2015, he was asked to lead the special program team for Toyota at Saatchi. There he ushered in the relaunch of the Tacoma with a multi modal campaign strategy that was first of its kind, the program was lauded as one of the most successful model launches in Toyotas lengthy history. He also worked across launches for Tundra, Prius, the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai and several others. In 2018, he drove brand experience initiatives for Toyota’s Olympic sponsorship of the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Blake has also managed creative development for global dev conferences at Meta/Facebook, was chief of staff for the creative team during the 2011 relaunch of Myspace, and most recently has been leading US business for Josephmark, a venture studio that focuses on initiatives in entertainment, ESG, fintech and more.

Blake has been a judge for the AICP, has won several advertising and design awards, and is a member of The Academy of TV Arts & Sciences. He is also an alum of the University of Oregon business program.