John Kim
Founder and Managing Partner

John Kim is Founder and Managing Partner of Brewer Lane Ventures. Prior to founding Brewer Lane Ventures, John was President and Chief Investment Officer of New York Life Insurance Company. During his 10 year career at New York Life, he led the growth of the Company’s assets from $213 billion to $582 billion, while managing the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

As a career investor, John started New York Life Ventures in 2012 which over the subsequent 6 years, produced top quartile performance. Previously, he held CEO roles in other insurance, retirement and asset management firms including Prudential Retirement, CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services, and Aeltus Investment Management, a subsidiary of VOYA.

He is currently a board director at three insurtech startups. Additionally, he is on the board of trustees of Eversource,  New England’s largest energy delivery company and a national leader in clean energy, and was previously on the board of FiServ, a global provider of financial services technology.

John received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.    

Martha Notaras
Managing Partner

Martha Notaras is Managing Partner at Brewer Lane Ventures. Prior to joining Brewer Lane Ventures, Martha was a Partner at XL Innovate, investing in insurtech startups. XL Innovate’s insurtech investments include Lemonade, Embroker, New Energy Risk, GeoQuant, Cape Analytics, Slice Labs and Pillar Technologies. Martha serves on the boards of Palomar Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLMR) and ATTOM Data Solutions.

Previously, Martha ran corporate development for DMG Information, the business data and analytics division of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc. Of the 20 investments Martha made at DMG Information, two achieved and maintained valuations over $1 billion. Martha has served as board director for many early and growth stage companies, focusing on fintech, insurtech, proptech, edtech and digital media. Martha’s prior experience includes investment banking at Merrill Lynch and commercial banking at Credit Suisse.

Martha earned her A.B. cum laude from Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar, awarded for graduating in the top five percent of the class.

Chris Choi Downer
Investment Principal

Chris Downer is a Principal at Brewer Lane Ventures. Prior to joining Brewer Lane, Chris was a Principal at Sorenson Ventures. At Sorenson, Chris partnered with innovators focused on solving large problems which could be tackled through the deployment of new technology and data sources.

Prior to joining Sorenson Ventures, Chris was a Principal at XL Innovate focusing on early-stage analytics and insurtech investments in North America, Europe and Asia. At XL Innovate, Chris was a board observer at Pillar Technologies, an end-to-end environmental monitoring solution for construction sites and a board member at Stonestep, which provides microinsurance as a service in emerging markets.

Before joining XL Innovate, Chris was an Associate in the Alternative Investments and Manager Selection Group of Goldman Sachs. During his five years at Goldman, he developed special expertise in emerging markets and Asia and worked in both the New York City and London offices.

Chris graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, with a BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in History.

George Castineiras
Operating Principal

George Castineiras is an Operating Principal at Brewer Lane Ventures. Previously he was the Managing Director of Gibraltar Ventures, the innovation lab and venture capital group of Prudential Financial, which is focused on exploring emerging business models, investing in ideas, and developing unique solutions for meeting unaddressed client needs. Under his guidance, Gibraltar made strategic investments in nine organizations and continually sourced deals and performed due diligence on new opportunities that meet the needs of Prudential’s customers. Prior to Gibraltar Ventures, he was a senior vice president  at Prudential Financial where he lead the turnaround of Prudential’s underperforming Total Retirement Solutions business unit with $180 billion of assets under administration and more than 6000 institutional clients nationwide. Before Prudential Financial, he was Vice President and National Sales Director for Metropolitan Insurance, where he established leadership positions in three market segments and directed a national sales organization that consistently surpassed organizational revenue goals.

George was named “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Retirement Industry” and one of the “Top 25 Hispanic Executives” by respected industry publications, was Founder and CEO of 4 innovative companies and Chairman of the Board of Directors of 3 businesses affiliated with Prudential Financial, and holds 3 patents and 16 trademarks.

He earned his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Business and BA in Finance and Economics at Loyola Marymount University. 

Andrew Kim
Andrew Kim
Associate

Andrew Kim is an Associate at Brewer Lane Ventures. Prior to joining Brewer Lane Ventures, Andrew founded and managed Backtrack, a professionally touring a cappella group. Andrew organically grew the group’s YouTube channel reaching 11M views and 111K subscribers. In addition, he directed the group through over 250 performances including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the UN, Kinky Boots (Broadway show), and on the Steve Harvey Show. Andrew also founded a recording company with production credits for over 400 songs and 30 albums for a cappella groups around the country. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and his Master of Music from NYU. 

Stephen Sotiriou
Stephen Sotiriou
Associate

Stephen Sotiriou is an Investment Associate at Brewer Lane Ventures. At BLV, Stephen focuses on sourcing and analyzing insurtech and fintech companies. Prior to Brewer Lane Ventures, Stephen worked for SenaHill Partners LP, a fintech-focused merchant bank where he aided companies in financing and merger & acquisition transactions and strategy. Stephen helped companies in all stages and industries including insurtech, capital markets, data analytics, payments, banking and lending, and business process outsourcing. Prior to SenaHill Partners, Stephen was a Senior Associate in the restructuring group of Grant Thornton LLP, helping companies through distressed situations both in and out of court. In those high stress situations, Stephen helped healthcare and insurance companies manage cash, analyze and execute on the best go-forward business strategy, and overhaul operations to achieve a sustainable and healthy business.

Stephen graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta business school concentrating in finance and information systems and operations management. During his time at Emory, he held an internship within the treasury and capital allocation group at Amgen Inc., one of the world’s largest independent biotechnology companies and with Hightower Advisors – Bapis Group, a Forbes top 150 national financial advisor. He was also a member of Emory University’s varsity baseball team, taking 2nd in the nation in 2014.

Stephen prides himself on being a chartered financial analyst (CFA) Charterholder, and Utah sports, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers fan.

Courtney Howe
Office Manager

Courtney Howe is an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Brewer Lane Ventures. Courtney previously worked as the Marketing Communications Manager and as Executive Assistant to the CEO at The New England Center for Children, a non-profit organization serving children and families with autism around the globe. Courtney also worked in media relations at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) where her work focused primarily on scientific research related to the diseases of aging.

Courtney received her BA in Political Science from Trinity College and her MBA with a marketing concentration from The McCallum School of Business at Bentley University.