Emily McMahan

Emily McMahan

General Partner & Co-Founder, Academy Investor Network


Emily McMahan is a co-founder and General Partner at the Academy Investor Network. Previously, Emily served as the Founder / Executive Director of Capitol Post, an incubator that taught military veterans and their spouses how to think and act like entrepreneurs. Capitol Post was also the home of Bunker Labs DC, a national 501(c)(3) organization network of military veteran entrepreneurs dedicated to helping the military-connected community start their own business.

Before starting Capitol Post, Emily was a partner and CFO at a successful startup technology firm serving the federal government. Emily holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Patriot Boot Camp based out of Boulder, CO. She serves on the Board of Directors for Patriot Boot Camp and lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband and three children.

Key Quotes

On US government investment in startups:

  • “There’s a heightened awareness and movement that will continue for the government to identify and use better technology, and much of that technology is driven by commercial companies. Often, military veterans have the skills the tech industry seeks out — discipline, work ethic, problem-solving, leadership and exposure to cutting-edge technology — yet they lack the funding, network and mentorship to get their ideas off the ground. The Department of Defense is willing to invest in early funding to keep pace with rivals like China and Russia.”

Some advice for entrepreneurs:

  • “Really emphasize the problem you’re trying to solve … it might be a problem you’re solving but it might not be scalable. Second is that you’re always working for somebody, so as an entrepreneur, it’s not about you, it’s about the person you’re trying to solve the problem for. It’s a life of being externally focused on solving problems for people

On having specific asks when approaching:

  • “I love it when somebody has pretty well thought-out asks from us, because sometimes it’s hard. The more specific people can be with their asks, it just helps the conversation go that much quicker in terms of connections [in the network]. We’re just as happy to work with people who don’t know what they want, but I think that knowing what your ask might be, of Sherman, me, and the community is always really helpful and very well received.”


Military Police Officer

US Army

2001 - 2009

Chief Financial Officer & Partner

Halfaker and Associates, LLC

2006 - 2013

Founder & Executive Director

Capitol Post

2013 - 2019

Deputy Director

Common Mission Project

2020 - 2022

Venture Partner

Scout Ventures

2020 - Present

General Partner & Co-Founder

Academy Investor Network

2020 - Present