Yan Zhou, Ph.D.,   CEO & Co-founder


Dr. Zhou oversees all investment operations of Academic Capital. Under his leadership, Academic Capital has been expanding its global presence, increased its capital base, and deepened its capabilities to identify and partner with some of the most innovative companies emerging from academia. Yan has developed deep connections with numerous prestigious scholars across the academia in United States. Yan also advises Academic Capital’s portfolio startups on their go-to-market and growth strategies.

Yan began his career in a research/engineering role with Cisco. In the years following, Yan held several technical/research positions in a variety of industries such as cloud services/solutions, data analytics, and healthcare sectors. He has extensive experience helping both early and late-stage startup companies launch many impactful customer-facing initiatives. Yan earned his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from State University of New York.

Norman J. Woodridge, Ph.D.,  Co-founder & Managing Partner


Dr. Woodridge is the Co-founder of Academic Capital and manages the firm’s seed and growth fund. Prior to Academic Capital, Norman is the first outside investor in a number of leading enterprise software companies like Atlassian, Squarespace and Xero. He was also responsible for numerous investments with notable exits, including AirWatch (acquired by VMware), Braintree/Venmo (acquired by PayPal), and Lynda.com (acquired by Linkedin).

Norman grew up in Boston and received Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

Erica H. Cummings,  COO & Managing Partner


As COO at Academic Capital, Erica leads the firm’s non-investment activities, which include running internal operations, overseeing the firm’s legal, finance, branding and administrative teams, working with the partnership on key strategic decisions, leading fundraising, and managing the firm’s limited partner relationships.

Prior to Academic Capital, Erica spent eight years at Accenture. She began her financial career at Citigroup Investment Bank, where she was an analyst in their technology group. Erica graduated with honors in Economics from Harvard University.


Academic Capital team is comprised of 23 Partners, including accomplished venture investors, renowned scholars in top universities, and company executives.