When a U.S. service member leaves the military, the finely honed skills and attributes they’ve attained through training and real world operations are not likely to leave them. Not only does attention to detail, the ability to operate under pressure, integrity, and grit make these men and women good service members, but these attributes also lend themselves to the business world.
Operated by veterans for veterans, nonprofit organization Bunker Labs endeavors to help veterans on their path to entrepreneurialism — or “vetrepreneurialsm” — through education, networking, and mentorship. Through this process, Bunker Labs has helped its members generate more than $17.5 million in revenue and $26 million in capital to date while expanding local chapters to 15 cities across the country.
In an effort to further expand their reach and thereby help more aspiring veteran business owners, Bunker Labs has partnered with Comcast NBC Universal as part of a three-year expansion partnership plan which enabled the nonprofit to add a Seattle chapter to their ranks.
A 2012 study by the U.S. Small Business Association revealed that more than 10 percent of the 21 million veterans in the U.S. own their own business. Of those, only slightly more than 750 veteran-owned businesses have been registered with the Washington Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
“We think Seattle has the potential to be the most successful Bunker Labs chapter yet,” Bunker Labs Seattle co-founder and executive director Johannes Schonberg said in a statement. “The thriving tech and entrepreneurial scene in Seattle paired with the large veteran community in the greater Pacific Northwest will take advantage of veterans’ unique set of experience, skills, and expertise to generate exciting new veteran-founded startups.”
To celebrate the expansion, Bunker Labs Seattle will host a Seattle area muster as part of the Muster Across America Tour on May 5 at the Impact Hub Seattle. The event will feature panel discussions and expert lectures followed by a post-event networking reception.
For more information about Bunker Labs Seattle, visit them online.