We’re founders, investors, operators,
and relentless creators.

bong koh

Managing Partner

Bong is a Founding Partner of Hypothesis Ventures, a pre seed fund focused on emerging ecosystems. Prior to co-founding Hypothesis Ventures, he was the Founding Partner at KohFounders, (the predecessor discovery fund for Hypothesis Ventures).

He previously was Co-Founder or Founding Advisor of 4 companies that generated over $300M in annual sales, employed hundreds of employees and raised over $50M in venture funding. 3 of the 4 companies were ultimately acquired by Qualcomm, Photobucket and Brand Networks. His first startup experience was as one of the first employees in the New York Strategy Group at Organic (IPO and acquisition by Omnicom).

Bong has also worked with Advanced Technology Ventures in Palo Alto and was an initial investor in MuckerLab in Santa Monica. He was also an EIR and Principal with Prism and a mentor with Techstars (Cedars-Sinai and Chicago), TigerLabs (Princeton) and AlphaLab (Pittsburgh).

He was also an Associate at McKinsey in Palo Alto and Los Angeles and an M&A Analyst at Salomon Smith Barney in New York. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Bong has lived in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New Haven, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Boston, New York, Seoul and Honolulu.

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chelsea burkett

Venture Partner

Chelsea is currently in the New Business Development group at YouTube and based in Los Angeles. Previously she worked in the Apps Growth Team for Google as well as the Business Development Team for Chrome OS. She also led growth for MeetMe (NYSE: MEET) which she joined through the merger of myYearbook and Quepasa (where she was VP of Product and Marketing). Chelsea has also been an Advisor to KohFounders since inception. Her first startup experience was with Doostang where she was the first employee and Director of Product Marketing. She holds a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Chelsea has lived in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York and Boston

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john ryu

Managing Partner

John is a Founding Partner for Hypothesis Ventures. Prior to Hypothesis Ventures, John was a Venture Advisor at KohFounders. Prior to joining KohFounders, he helped launch Assurely and Greensbury Market as an EIR at Scout Ventures. He also helped launch Scout Ventures and has supported the portfolio of over 60 companies.

Previously, John was a product manager at WebMD, where he launched their first social and mobile monetization products. He also managed all targeted ad products under the Medscape product umbrella, representing over $50M in annual revenues. Prior to WebMD, John led product and was interim CTO at AdECN (backed by Accel and acquired by Microsoft). In addition, John led Search Products at WhenU (BCG spinout, backed by ABS Capital and Trident Capital). John scaled his P&L there from $0 to $50M in two years. The company grew to a $100M run rate business before being acquired by a private equity firm.

John also has experience as a strategy consultant at Cap Gemini and investment banking experience at Hambrecht & Quist. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

John has lived in Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York, and the Bay Area.

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justin labaw-rivers

Design Partner

Justin LaBaw-Rivers is a Design Partner at Hypothesis Ventures where he focuses on the design & product development for portfolio companies. Prior to joining Hypothesis he founded Original Thought, a Los Angeles based design agency that helped brand and design digital products for companies such as Air + Style, Dosist, Pluto TV, amongst others. He has also worked with both Apple and Google on various design initiatives over the last five years and has been an Advisor to KohFounders since inception.

He served as Founder & Creative Director for Original Thought for six years from conception to helping dozens of startups raise over $40M in venture capital through early stage brand and product development. Justin oversaw all creative direction, expanded the business into emerging markets outside of California, and worked as a mentor helping guide dozens of founders through the fundraising to launch phase.

Before founding Original Thought in 2012, Justin worked as a designer and art director for TBWA/MAL & Slingshot Labs. He was also a Senior Designer at Yahoo! He holds a BFA from The School of Art & Design at the University of Florida.

Justin has lived in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Florida, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and The Bay Area.

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nancy soni

Talent Partner

Nancy Soni is a Talent Partner at Hypothesis Ventures where she focuses on helping companies across the portfolio build out talent strategy; helping companies identify the right people for their teams at the right time. Nancy believes that a large part of a startup’s success is based on its ability to hire, retain and engage the best people. Prior to joining Hypothesis Ventures, Nancy founded FILD, a recruiting firm that assists venture-backed startups across the country in scaling engineering, product, sales, marketing, and operations teams. FILD has grown to become one of the top recruiting resources for startups across the US.

Before founding FILD, Nancy was Director of Recruiting at CyberCoders where she scaled the Los Angeles office from 0 to 60 recruiters in 4 years. Nancy has spent the past 18 years building teams for some of the most influential companies around the country. She holds a BA in Psychology and Music from Emory University.

Nancy has lived in Chicago, Milwaukee, Fort Wayne, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Los Gatos/Mountain View/San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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peter brack

Managing Partner

Peter Brack is a Founding Partner of Hypothesis Ventures. Prior to Hypothesis, Peter has been a Venture Partner at Mucker Capital and an initial investor and advisor at KohFounders. At Mucker Capital, in addition to sourcing opportunities for the firm, Peter has worked across a rapidly growing portfolio, deeply engaging with founders and leadership teams. Just three years after relocating from Asia, he is known as a key player in LA’s growing venture and startup community.

Prior to Mucker Capital and KohFounders, Peter was co-founder and CEO of two companies (Redgate Media Group and One Media Group), both of which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Redgate was one of the largest Chinese media consolidators of the ‘00s, operating television, radio, advertising, and out-of-home media companies across the country. One Media Group remains one of the largest content publishers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Prior to co-founding Redgate Media Group and One Media Group, Peter was Senior Vice President, Time Inc., where he was responsible for the revenues and overall profitability of TIME & FORTUNE’s Asia editions. He oversaw the Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi, Tokyo, and Sydney offices. An early entrant to China, Peter made some early investments during the country’s first internet wave, notably into some of today’s largest players.

Earlier, Peter was at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., where he helped to launch CNN and Cartoon Network in Asia. In the role of Vice President, Asia-Pacific, he managed advertising sales and some of the earliest online monetization for CNN and Cartoon Network.

Peter is a Trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has BA from Tulane University, and studied at The American University of Paris.

He has lived in Greenwich, New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, and Los Angeles.

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