Last night, the Bunker Labs DC team hosted the #bunkerbattle and it was fire!
As we tallied the official judge’s scores from the night to choose two winners to advance to the Final Four in June, our audience voted for their fan favorites. In a crazy twist of fate – the two companies chosen were the same on both accounts! Congratulations to both Dark Cubed (1st place) and Reki Travel (2nd place) on your pitches, and we can’t wait to have you impress us even more in June.
(Those who are interested in competing for Round Two on May 11th, please submit a 2 minute video pitch to Harry Alford, firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than April 15th).
Ten diverse startups from around the country braved rush hour traffic to join us and the DC start up community for a night of cold beers (thanks, Klink!), great food (thanks, Zero Cater!), and an illustrious panel of judges (thanks Ajit from humble.vc, Mark from Equilateral Ventures, Mike from Streetshares, and Bob from VeteranCrowd!).
Packed house for Round One of the pitches!
Hosted at 1776, the evening started out with time to meet with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from the DMV. Given that it was the first time that Bunker Labs DC hosted an open-to-the-public event in the city, we were thrilled to see so many great friends and new faces joining our cohort.
Thanks to Chris Pilkerton of JP Morgan Chase for coming to the event!
Our program opened up with Executive Director, Ray Crowell and Managing Director, Harry Alford teasing the crowd, thanking our sponsors (JP Morgan Chase, Notion Theory, TaylorMade Experience, Pipaya Partners), and preparing everyone to strap in for a rapid progression of impressive founders pitching from a wide swath of industries and products.
Green Impact Campaign kicked off the night with their signature black slide, and discussed the dual-benefit of preparing students for careers in green tech while at the same time benefiting small businesses who can make cost savings through environmentally sound implementations.
Next, Splurg took the stage to present a unique approach to saving through your social networks, which founder Azah Awasum was inspired to create from her cultural heritage in Africa.
Bunker Lab DC’s own Dark Cubed came on next and showed how being the “Swiss Army knife” of cyber-security would break the barriers for mid-market companies to get protection in an increasingly complex world.
The Armed Services Arts Partnership then described the social impact they’re having on the veteran and military family community through immersive classes in the arts – writing, comedy, acting, etc., and their roadmap for expansion.
Visiting from Bunker Labs RDU was Nick Bradford of Divvy Investments, who is simplifying the way people can plan for retirement, and empowering people to move beyond emotional investment decisions.
Next up was James Rabuck of Reki Travel, venturing from all the way from Bunker Labs Austin to talk about how his app is revolutionizing the way millennials will go from inspiration to execution in DIY travel.
Bidio is seeking to flip the advertising industry on it’s head by going “truly native” – providing an auction space for content creators to match with organizations looking to marry the form, function, and purpose of their marketing across a variety of platforms.
Reciprocare Solutions spoke on how their business is tackling the enormous challenge of marrying underpaid and underutilized care givers with the right hospice environments to provide the best care for the elderly and disabled.
Polco is an application looking to provide more engaging communication channels between local governments and their constituents to drive more informed policy decisions and rebuild confidence and efficiency in American politics.
Last but not least, Agri-Tech Producers, who had made the trek all the way from South Carolina, deploys cost-effective technologies to sustainably grow, use, and convert biomass into a variety of products to enhance the environment, improve economic conditions, and create jobs in rural communities.
Thank you to all ten startups and judges for joining the #bunkerbattle, and we can’t wait to announce our next round of participants for Round Two!