Academy Investor Network (AIN) received an anchor investment from financial services company USAA for its $50M seed-stage focused fund (Venture Fund I).
Led by Sherman Williams and Emily McMahan, military veterans with entrepreneurship, early-stage investment and finance experience, AIN is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in U.S. military veteran-led startups and non-veteran-led startups building technologies that make the country safer, operate more efficiently, and have a strong commercial use case.
USAA previously invested in companies including Coinbase, PrecisionHawk, BillGo and ID.Me. Scout Ventures is the fund’s initial investor.
AIN is a continuation of Emily McMahan’s work to support the veteran entrepreneurial community. McMahan founded Capitol Post, a veteran entrepreneurial incubator program in Washington DC, and she ran Bunker Labs DC. She is currently a Patriot Boot Camp Board Member – a USAA sponsored organization – and works with the non-profit Common Mission Project, a 501(c)(3) organization that leverages academia to help the government solve tough problems.
Sherman Williams has been a serial early-stage investor after a career in investment banking. Several of his investments to date have been in the dual-use technology space.
AIN also runs an investment syndicate that brings together graduates of the five U.S. Military Service Academies (USNA, USMA, USAFA, USCGA, and USMMA) to invest alongside the venture fund. The syndicate has already made notable investments into Polco and A.M. Money.