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Vikram Sharma

Founder and CEO
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Recognising the potential of quantum cybersecurity in the early 2000s, Vikram sought to commercialise the technology, returning to the Australian National University to work with the Quantum Optics Group in the Department of Physics. QuintessenceLabs emerged from the world-leading research conducted by the group and is today positioned as a global leader in quantum cybersecurity. The company’s capabilities have received numerous awards including: global runner-up from a pool of 2,500+ companies in IBM’s SmartCamp competition, Top 20 Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow, Security Innovation Network’s SINET16 Cyber Security Innovators, CyberTech 100 and most recently, recognised as a Global Innovator by the World Economic Forum.

Prior to QuintessenceLabs, Vikram had deep experience in building and managing technology companies. He founded two successful start-up ventures in the information technology infrastructure and services spaces – a consulting company providing IT services to the Federal Government in Australia, and one of India’s first private ISPs. He started his career as a programmer analyst and went on to work as a consultant with several leading professional services firms in Australia.

Vikram holds a Master of Science in computer science from The Australian National University, a Master of Science in management (Sloan Fellow) from Stanford University, and a Doctorate in quantum physics from The Australian National University. He was presented the Pearcey State Award for Entrepreneurship in 2013. In 2014, Vikram was invited by the UK Government to join an expert panel for its flagship Quantum Technology Hubs programme. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Sydney Quantum Academy and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity. He is a regular contributor to journals and a frequent speaker at conferences. Vikram’s TED Talk on “How Quantum Physics can make Encryption Stronger”, has had over 1.2 million views.

Mark Crowley

President of US Operations, COO
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Mark Crowley is President of QuintessenceLabs Inc., the US subsidiary of QuintessenceLabs Pty.  He manages US market development including establishing the US supply chain, supporting staff and business partnering for sales and marketing to increase Federal, Defense and Commercial market penetration.  He has global responsibility for business development and market strategy.

Prior to QuintessenceLabs, Mark was Executive in Residence at New Enterprise Associates providing advice to CEOs. Before that, he was CEO of solar technology start-up SolFocus for 5 years. Mark led SolFocus from R&D phase to initial commercialization with revenues of $50M during the last five years. He managed the interface with manufacturing partners in Asia and developed 47 projects in 13 countries, partnering with construction firms around the world.

Mark has 25 years’ experience in the US Defense Industry, holding numerous Vice President roles in Engineering, Product Management and Air Force Programs with Lockheed Martin and General Electric. Mark managed large teams (up to 4000 employees) with technical responsibilities and functions including communications and remote sensing systems. Mark also had responsibilities for supply chain and manufacturing management of aerospace systems.  Mark holds Engineering degrees from the University of Illinois and Drexel University, and the Stanford GSB Sloan Program.

Silvio Pappalardo

Chief Revenue Officer
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Silvio Pappalardo brings more than 25 years of global experience in executive leadership, sales management, cybersecurity and federal law enforcement.

Prior to joining QuintessenceLabs, Silvio served as Vice President of Sales for Absolute Software leading up to five teams with the Strategic and Federal segments setting record year-over-year growth in new annual revenue. Silvio also led sales in emerging technology startups and medium to large enterprises.

Silvio was a founding member of Invotas International where he led sales and marketing in successfully pioneering a new security market that is now defined by Gartner as Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR). FireEye acquired the company in 2016 in less than two years from launch. Prior to his sales career, Silvio was a Special Agent for a U.S. Federal Law Enforcement agency.

Silvio is multilingual with fluency in English, French, Arabic and is conversational in Spanish.
Silvio received his Bachelor’s of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, an NSA designated Center of Excellence.

John Plummer

Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
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John is a finance professional with more than 25 years’ experience working with Boards and Executive Teams across listed US, UK and ASX multinational organisations, spanning a number of industry sectors. In addition he has supported private start-up and scale-up companies to help them achieve business turnaround, transformation, capital restructuring, strategy development and execution, business growth and expansion.

John has held senior finance roles with Cochlear, Lion, Vodafone, Abbott Laboratories, ELI Lilly, and Brambles leading finance and commercial teams across financial and capital management, restructuring and transformation, capital raising and debt refinance, M&A, leading the strategy function and investor relations. John is currently a CFO industry expert with NSW Leaders, part of the International Leaders organisation, mentoring start-up and scale-up organisations.

John is a Chartered Accountant with the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting & Law degree from UWS.

John Leiseboer

Chief Technology Officer
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John Leiseboer is founding CTO at QuintessenceLabs Pty Ltd, and is responsible for the research, design and development of key management, comsec and infosec products. He is a member of the OASIS KMIP and PKCS11 Technical Committees, and has contributed to the development of NIST, IETF, and IEEE standards, including SP 800-90B and C, and IEEE 802.6. John has worked in the fields of communications, and information security for over thirty-five years, designing and architecting commercial and military communications and information security hardware, software and systems. He has experience in applying conventional, classical cryptography as well as leading-edge quantum key distribution technology to innovative security product designs.

Prior to joining QuintessenceLabs, John held senior positions in a number of technology companies working in commercial and military sectors, including RSA/EMC, Boeing, HP, and Plessey Defence Systems. John obtained his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney in 1979, specialising in electronics, communications, and digital systems.

John Stewart

Strategic Advisor
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John Stewart is the founder and President, Talons Ventures. In this role, he works with disruptive start-up companies, venture funds, consults to midsize to large businesses on government relations and cyber, and gives back in philanthropic efforts on education, equality, and anti-poaching. Stewart’s career includes wide ranging security initiatives from IT design for elementary schools to national security programs.

Prior to founding Talons Ventures, John served as SVP, Chief Security & Trust Officer at Cisco Systems. During his 15+ years at Cisco, he helped Cisco establish its leadership in national security matters, the enterprise security market, privacy, and trust. Under his leadership, the Security & Trust organization was formed, protecting Cisco’s public and private customers, enabling and ensuring Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle and Trustworthy Systems efforts across the company’s portfolio, and establishing world leadership in data protection and privacy, trust and assurance, and cybersecurity efforts with governments globally. Prior to his time at Cisco, John was CISO for Digital Island, had his first tour at Cisco, and worked at NASA Ames Research Center.

John served on the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Cyber Security Review panel, the Cybersecurity Think Tank at the University of Maryland University College, and the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th United States Presidency.

John holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in computer and information science from Syracuse University.


Andreas Baumhof

Vice President of Quantum Technologies
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Andreas Baumhof is an internationally renowned cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur. As Vice President of Quantum Technologies, Andreas is responsible for the strategic technological direction of the company, complementing the world-class research in quantum cryptography efforts as well as the market-leading key and policy management suite. Andreas was cofounder and CTO of Microdasys Inc., where he developed the first ever SSL proxy, and later cofounder and CEO of TrustDefender until its 2011 acquisition by ThreatMetrix. He then served as CTO at ThreatMetrix responsible for all product development and strategic technological direction, leading it through its acquisition by LexisNexis in 2018.


Board and Advisors

Vikram Sharma

Founding Director & CEO
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Vikram Sharma is founding director and CEO of QuintessenceLabs Inc. After realising the potential of quantum cryptography in the early 2000s in California, Dr. Sharma sought to commercialise the technology and returned to the Australian National University to work with the Quantum Optics Group in the Department of Physics. QuintessenceLabs emerged from the world-leading research conducted by the group.

Vikram brings with him 20 years experience in building and managing technology companies. Prior to QuintessenceLabs, he founded three successful start-up ventures in the information technology services and hardware spaces. He is a Sloan Fellow from Stanford University, California, and also holds an MSc in computer science and a PhD in quantum physics from the ANU.

Jon Nicholson

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Jon was the Chief Strategy Officer for the Westpac Banking Corporation for eight years, responsible for Strategy and M&A across the Westpac Group. He came to Westpac from Boston Consulting Group, where he was a senior partner for many years, responsible for the Asian and Pacific Financial Services practice. Earlier in his career Jon was the Senior private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia.

Jon is Chairman of the Westpac Foundation, which is the bank’s major philanthropic vehicle.  He is also a Director of the Cape York Partnership and the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.

Peeyush Gupta

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Peeyush Gupta, a founding director and Chief Executive Officer of ipac Securities Limited, leads one of Australia’s best wealth management firms. Over the past 25 years ipac has build a global financial planning business that has helped people maximise their financial resources to achieve the goals that matter most to them. In fact, ipac’s credentials were recognised when the firm was awarded the top ranking for one of its financial plans in the 2003 ASIC/Choice survey on the quality of financial advice in Australia.

Peeyush commentates regularly to industry leaders and clients on the importance of lifestyle financial planning that is supported by a best practice business model. Peeyush holds a degree in Computer Science and an MBA in finance from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Dave Curran

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Dave was the Chief Information Officer of the Westpac Group from 2014 to 2018, where he was responsible for technology strategy and its implementation across the Group. Dave has over 30 years of global experience in IT and financial services. Before joining Westpac, Dave spent 10 years in senior roles at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and 16 years at Accenture.

Dave is passionate about the development of Australia’s future leaders and is the Chairman of the Westpac Scholars Trust. He also has a deep commitment to cancer research and education and sits on the board of the Tour de Cure charity.

Bill Bartee

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Bill Bartee is a co-founder and Managing Director of Main Sequence Ventures. Prior to Main Sequence, Bill co-founded Blackbird Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in the best global tech startups being formed in Australia, where he was one of three General Partners and an Investment Committee member. Bill is also co-founder of Southern Cross Venture Partners, where he focused on early-stage software, security, and internet companies. Prior to moving to Australia, Bill had 12 years of research, operational, and entrepreneurial experience in the United States. Bill earned a Bachelor of Science, MBA and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Richmond School of Law.

Bill is passionate about breakthrough, science-based ideas that leapfrog today’s solutions, including quantum technologies, healthcare, AI, chemistry, and synthetic biology where rapid progress is being made.