Kihong is the author of ‘Startup Bible’ and ‘Startup Bible 2’, Korean bestseller books inspiring the next generation of startup entrepreneurs, and has extensive experience dealing with a wide spectrum of technology companies both in Silicon Valley and South Korea. As a Managing Director of Strong Ventures, Kihong selectively identifies, invests and advises in early stage startups both in Korea and the US leveraging his extensive network and experiences in both markets. He was responsible for the successful global launch of Musicshake, a user-generated music community, at TechCrunch40 and has served as its General Manager in North America. Previously, he was a Senior Marketing Manager for Microsoft Korea, in charge of middle-market marketing. Prior to Microsoft, he was the Sales and Marketing Director for Zionex Inc., where he catapulted the company to be Korea’s No.1 supply chain management solution provider.
Kihong grew up in the Canary Islands of Spain and speaks Korean, English and Spanish. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Stanford University and is an MBA candidate, currently on indefinite leave, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
John is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Strong Ventures, a seed fund with offices in Koreatown, Los Angeles and Gangnam, Seoul, which primarily supports and finances startups in Korea and Asian-American founders in the US. In addition, John is a Venture Partner of Primer, S. Korea’s first and top startup accelerator program, as well as the Executive Director of KOLABS, a co-working space created in partnership between BAM Ventures and Strong Ventures, in the heart of Ktown LA. Prior to becoming a seed investor, he co-founded and headed Phonevite, a top internet telephony startup which grew to profitability serving thousands of schools, non-profits and community groups. John started his Silicon Valley career as a Senior Product Manager and Business Development Manager at Dialpad, a hybrid Korean-Silicon Valley Voice over IP company that was acquired by Yahoo!, and which became Yahoo! Voice. His experience also includes working in finance as a Vice President of Corporate Banking at US Bank and Comerica Bank, and in IT Management at the United Nations in New York. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of International Affairs, both from Columbia University. Having grown in the Canary Islands of Spain and being of Korean descent, he is fluent in both Spanish and Korean as well.