Military Veterans make better entrepreneurs – Just ask Emily McMahan

Emily McMahan Academy Investor Network and Common Mission Project

Military Veterans make better entrepreneurs - just ask Emily McMahan. She’s part of a new investor network bringing venture capital directly to military veteran startups. 

So we asked Emily to step in The Spotlight on the VeteranCrowd Network.


Off to West Point

Growing up in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border, Emily visited the United States Military Academy for the first time when her older brother was touring colleges. “I remember getting dragged to go to West Point when my older brother was looking at schools.” said McMahan. “I really felt this sense of awe, and the aura of the school really impacted me.”

McMahan did tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq as a MP.

So she joined the Class of 2001, decided the Military Police was the branch for her, and quickly found herself at the Pentagon after 9-11. She saw combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star...twice.

McMahan settled in the Washington area after separating from the Army in 2006, joining a classmate's company. The West Point network proved invaluable, and DC soon became home. 

The City of Alexandria formed the Capitol Post in 2014 in the height of sequestration to assist with veteran transition.

When McMahan approached Todd Connor of the Bunker Labs about collaborating, Todd’s immediate response was”Yes!” 

Capitol Post, McMahan and Seda Goff hosted four cohorts totalling 55 veteran led businesses. Seda Goff has moved to the PenFed Foundation, and McMahan is one of three founders of the Academy Investor Network. 

Backing the Veteran Entrepreneur

The Academy Investor Network is bringing together pre-seed and Series A capital for veteran-led (industry agnostic) or a civilian-led startup that is focused on GovTech / DefenseTech space.. The AIN opens up venture capital investment opportunities to graduates of the five military academies - an investment class many cannot access.

Members of the network are uniquely positioned to assist in the due diligence process, with both military and government experience. 

McMahan is also a driving force in the Common Mission project. Started at Stanford, the Common Mission Project enlists teams of students to solve government problems. The program has expanded to over thirty schools in the US and now reaches to the UK as well. 

Learn More 

Emily McMahan on Linkedin

The Academy Investor Network

Academy Investor Network – website, LinkedIn, twitter – Co-Founder is Sherman Williams (USNA 2003)

The Common Mission Project

Common Mission Project – website, LinkedIn, twitter – Executive Director is Alex Gallo (also USMA 2001)

Now, should you become a Member of the VeteranCrowd Network?

About your host

Bob Louthan - VeteranCrowd

Bob Louthan is a VMI Graduate, Army veteran, and executive with over 25 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions and private capital formation. He founded

VeteranCrowd to bring veterans and veteran led business together with each other and the resources they need to prosper. You can learn more about Bob on LinkedIn

Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *