With support from Google, national veteran support group Bunker Labs has launched a new business accelerator in Atlanta and Raleigh. The ‘Basecamp’ program will give 10 veteran or military spouse entrepreneurs in each city the opportunity to focus on their business and learn from experts for six months.
There is good reason to provide resources to this population. Just this year, a quarter of a million service members will transition out of the military, and one in four of those say they want to start their own business.
Unsurprisingly, veteran founders are also 30 percent more likely to employ other veterans, creating a positive economic cycle.
These statistics were the impetus for Bunker Labs, a veteran-founded and run non-profit based in Chicago. Since 2014, the organization has opened over 25 chapters across the country and helped over 1,000 startups through its educational and professional programming.
Bunker Labs companies have created almost 2,000 jobs, raised over $80 million in capital, and generated over $100 million in revenue.
Google for Startups, the tech giant’s arm for entrepreneur resources, has supported veteran entrepreneurship affinity groups before. This past spring they announced an initial partnership with Veteran Capital, a North Carolina-based organization that places transitioning service members in three-month Fellowships at high-growth startups.
In this latest announcement, Google for Startups also announced an expansion of their work with Veteran Capital.
Proud that @GoogleStartups is partnering with @veteran_capital, @patriotbootcamp & @TheBunkerLabs to support veterans and military spouses at every stage of their transitions to tech https://t.co/qrgwSEEr5G
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) July 23, 2019
On the Bunker Labs front, Google will sponsor free workspace for all participating Basecamp entrepreneurs. Additionally, advisors from Google will offer one-on-one mentorship to the companies.
Bunker Labs already has chapters in both cities where Basecamp will launch, though the Basecamp program specifically is new. A representative for Bunker Labs says it will be similar to an existing Veterans in Residence program, which is run in 15 cities through a partnership with co-working giant WeWork and works with about 300 entrepreneurs each year.
The Bunker Labs representative says they hope the new Basecamp program will be similarly successful. They hope to bring it to additional cities nationwide in the future.
Basecamp applications are open now until August 18. The first cohorts will begin in October.