Beverage Innovator and Entrepreneur: Kathleen Hahn, W’00

3 min readJan 18, 2022
Kathleen Hahn, Co-Founder of Ninja Melk

Kathleen Hahn is the Co-Founder of Ninja Melk, an innovative beverage start-up, in partnership with Kyle Schroeder, W’00 and YouTube and Twitch phenom and comedian, Ryan Higa.

Ninja Melk is a “better-for-you” energy drink — offering a line of unique and delicious products made with premium ingredients and less sugar than leading energy drinks. At Ninja Melk, Kathleen drives the company mission, product development strategy and e-commerce operations, helping the company reach, in its Shopify cohort, the top 1%.

Kathleen currently lives/works from Berlin (#dream), but is originally from Philadelphia and is the daughter of Vietnam War refugees who cultivated the American values of education and entrepreneurialism. After studying business at Wharton, Kathleen worked in New York in financial services before moving to Los Angeles to start a career in music, entertainment and tech. Her leadership experiences include Facebook and Google/YouTube where she’s led teams to bring innovation to life through strategic partnerships, deals and program management. Kathleen has extensive content licensing experience through her work at Comcast and Universal Music Group.

Ryan Higa is a YouTube/Twitch streamer, actor, comedian and producer. He has over 21 million subscribers on YouTube where he’s won “Most Subscribed to Channel” numerous times and his videos have been viewed over 5 billion times. He’s ridiculously entertaining, just watch this video if you’re not familiar with him. He’s also known for his live streaming video game play on Twitch, where he has over 500k followers.

Tell us a bit about your company

Ninja Melk was created by YouTube & Twitch phenom Ryan Higa and his two partners, Kathleen Hahn, née Nguyen, W’00 and Kyle Schroeder, W’00. Inspired by Ryan’s popular ninja videos and driven by his need for a “better-for-you” energy drink to fuel his long days of producing videos, the team set out to create a line of unique and delicious products that are made with premium ingredients and less sugar than leading energy drinks.

What inspired you to start your business/What opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?

Ninja Melk’s mission is to become the preeminent energy drink for Millennials and Post-Millenials. The Ninja Melk customer represents the discerning social media generation, with high expectations for quality and a desire to support authentic and original brands.

What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?

Venturing into the beverage industry was an unexpected path for me, given my previous 15+ years leading teams at Google, Facebook, Universal Music Group and in a previous career in financial services. However, after holding executive roles in Hollywood, I learned that representation matters — and this motivates me to build a brand that reflects Ryan’s 21.5 million fan base.

Source: Ninja Melk

What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?

Beyond a high customer retention rate, Ninja Melk has reached other notable milestones, including ranking in the top 1% of Shopify stores in its cohort, garnering over 1,000 4.5+ star reviews across e-commerce platforms and earning the “popular product” status on The company continues to grow its retail presence, with select Mobil, 7-ELEVEN, Circle K/76 and GNC stores carrying Ninja Melk across the US. Ninja Melk is also a member of Amazon’s Launchpad and Google Supplier Diversity Programs.

How can the WAFFA community help you?

Online courses that provide leadership and executive presence lessons for entrepreneurs

Check out Ninja Melk here!




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