Launch Your Construction Trade Business, Today!

Laying a Strong Foundation

Bunker Build Up is a free 8-week program for aspiring veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs in the skilled trades industry. This is a chance to turn your side hustle into a career or put those trade skills learned in the military to work for yourself as a solopreneur. You’re already an expert in your trade, but Bunker Build Up helps you develop the skills, networks, and connections you need to navigate the business side of things.

Our goal is to equip you to chase your American Dream. That dream might be big, like launching your own construction firm, or simply working for yourself as a private contractor. If you have a skilled trade and a business idea within the construction industry, Bunker Build Up is where you need to be.

Veterans and the Trades:
A Natural Fit

The United States spends roughly 1.8 trillion dollars a year in the construction trade industry between residential, non-residential, and public construction. ) try to fill that need, with 150,000 new businesses joining the industry each year. However, the industry has a long-standing worker shortage, and businesses that can innovate and deliver on time and on budget are the ones surviving.

Only 6.5% of military veterans choose the skill trades, though that number has slowly but steadily trended upward. It’s still shockingly low, considering veterans are such a great fit for the construction trades. Far more than 6.5% already have military training in a trade skill, but also, all veterans have experience with teamwork, safety protocols, and standard operating procedures that make them particularly well-suited to run a business in construction or work for themselves as a self-employed independent contractor.

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Veterans and military spouses in the idea-phase, or just starting to earn money with a construction trades business or startup.


An 8-week preparatory program for businesses in the idea-stage or just starting to gain clients in the construction trades.


Weekly virtual huddles.


New sections launch every February, May, and August. Each runs 8 weeks, using a hybrid model of self-directed learning and facilitated virtual meetings.


Gain the business skills, community, and contacts you need to find and create success in your business.

Why Bunker Build Up?

Launching your first business can be exciting, but you’ll face a lot of choices and challenges you don’t expect or plan for. Bunker Build Up is a place to benefit from the Bunker Labs community and better prepare yourself for the obstacles ahead. You’ll also gain a community dedicated to seeing you win, able to point you toward the answers and resources that set you up for success.


The United States spends roughly 1.8 trillion dollars a year in the construction trade industry between residential, non-residential, and public construction.


Only 6.5% of military veterans choose the skill trades despite far more already have military training in a trade skill.


What kind of commitment does Bunker Build Up require?

For eight weeks, participants should expect to attend a weekly meeting and spend at least four hours a week working on their business.

Is there any fee or cost to participate in Bunker Build Up? Do I give up equity?

There is no fee or equity share cost to participate in the Bunker Build Up program. It is entirely free to participants thanks to the sponsorship of Home Depot Foundation.

Who is eligible to apply for Bunker Build Up?

Veterans and military spouses that are also tradespeople in the skilled trade industry.

What makes for a good Bunker Build Up candidate?

Someone who has been working in the skilled trades either as an employee or an independent contractor and wants to establish their own business.

Is the entire program virtual?

Yes. The program consists of online learning modules and weekly online huddles.

What sort of work counts as being part of the skills trade industry?

Far too many to list, but carpenters, plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, painters, roofers, bricklayers, HVAC, landscapers, and similar skilled labor positions would all qualify. If you’re unsure, we encourage you to apply.

What happens after the eight weeks are over?

After eight weeks of Bunker Build Up, you can continue to remain within the Bunker Labs community by applying to one of our other programs like Breaking Barriers in Entrepreneurship or Veterans in Residence. There is the Bunker Online community, where you can stay connected to the support of the Bunker Labs program participants and alumni. You can also follow us on social media to stay up to date on what’s happening in the community. 

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