The area’s go-to organization for military veteran entrepreneurs, Bunker Labs KC, will boost its impact in the area with new financial support.
The local organization, which is a part of the national network of Bunker Labs, announced Wednesday that it received $100,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation. The funds will primarily be used to bring the organization’s entrepreneur educational resources to active duty military members who are transitioning within the next six to twelve months.
“It is extremely rewarding that others see our vision and want to support military veteran entrepreneurs,” said Sean McIntosh, Bunker Labs KC executive director. “Many veterans have had unique leadership and management experiences conducting combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Conducting these operations successfully requires constantly making the best decisions with the intel and resources you have at the time, while adhering to a strategic vision greater than yourself. This is also a fundamental aspect of startup life.”
The Bunker Labs KC offers entrepreneurship educational events, pro bono consulting and access to mentors as well as angel investors. Since its launch in 2014, the local organization has helped more than 400 military veterans.
McIntosh said that there are roughly 157,000 veterans in the Kansas City metro. In 2016, the Bunker Labs KC hopes to help 600 veterans with its entrepreneurial and business services. McIntosh,who previously worked with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2015, said that the Missouri Technology Corporation’s funds will help it directly reach out to active-duty military members to promote entrepreneurship as a career option before they transition into civilian life.
“Once fully established, (the Bunker Labs) network will be a powerful tool for Kansas City-based veteran entrepreneurs as they will have the ability to tap into angel investors, strategic corporate partners, and subject matter experts nationwide,” McIntosh said. “I can’t wait to see everything come together!”
The Bunker Labs KC is one of nine chapters of the Bunker Labs, which was launched in Chicago in 2014. Bunker Labs recently announced that it received a $1.5 million sponsorship from JP Morgan Chase that will aid the lab’s “Midwest Muster” military veteran entrepreneurship conference series, one of which will be held in Kansas City. The Kansas City Midwest Muster conference will be Sept. 21 at the Kansas City Convention Center.