An early-stage business incubator for veteran-
and military spouse-owned businesses
COMMIT TO GROWTH
Veterans in Residence is a 16-week business incubator that provides veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs the community, networks, and opportunities to grow their business.
Running the day-to-day of your business can feel like a monumental effort just to stay in business, let alone grow. What would happen if you dedicated 16-weeks to focus on growing and moving forward? What would happen if you gained that key contact you’ve been searching for? What would happen if you joined a community of like-minded veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs also working to take the next big step?
Let’s find out together.
Apply for Bunker Labs’ Veterans in Residence today to start working toward your business’s tomorrow.
Meet the Current Cohort
Veterans in Residence Showcase is a nationwide event to honor America’s veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. The goal of the Showcase is to rally America’s business community around small groups of entrepreneurs in local communities across the nation and make a real connection. This is about making connections that lead to real opportunities like customers, capital access, and partners. The Showcase happens twice a year in the summer and winter at the end of of each Veterans in Residence cohort.
Veterans and military spouses running an early-stage business operating at least 12 months and generating at least $1 but less than $250,000 annual revenue.
Virtual weekly huddles with local community connections
New cohorts launch every February and August. Each cohort runs for 16 weeks, meeting on Tuesdays.
Missions aren’t won alone. Gain a cohort of peers who support and hold each other accountable for business growth and success.
of veteran-owned businesses reported accelerated business growth.
of veteran-owned businesses increased their run-rate revenue.
of veteran-owned businesses raised funding between months one and six.
Why Veterans in Residence
When you join Veterans in Residence, you have more than an entrepreneurial endeavor in common—you have a common ethos, shaped by a common experience. Hit the ground running with a community that never gives up, no matter the challenge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is eligible to participate in Veterans in Residence?
Veterans and military family members who have formed a legal business entity (a sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or Nonprofit).
Are nonprofit startup organizations eligible to apply?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply provided they legally registered to conduct business.
What kind of commitment does the program require?
Cohort participants are required to:
- Attend all onboarding, orientation, and national wrap-up meetings
- Attend all weekly virtual huddles with their cohort
- Complete progress reports and participation surveys
- Participate, engage, and collaborate with cohort members
There is no Veterans in Residence cohort near me. Can I still apply?
Beginning in 2024, all weekly huddles are conducted virtually on Tuesdays at 3 pm CT. These virtual events provide an opportunity for all cohort members to connect nationally.
Bunker Labs Ambassadors locally support cities across the country by presenting local events and activities and facilitating connections between cohort members and subject matter experts, resources, and networking opportunities.
Some cohort members reside outside major cities or have too few participants to warrant a city-based Ambassador team. With weekly huddles conducted virtually nationwide, your location is not a barrier to your participation. Remote cohort members interested in traveling are invited to all local events and activities they may wish to attend.
How big is each cohort?
Generally, participation ranges from 10-12 veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs per city. Some cohorts may have up to 15 members.
Are there any fees?
Does Bunker Labs make investments in cohort businesses?
How are participants selected?
There is a tiered selection process, with the first round of screening conducted blind to help reduce unconscious bias and ensure a diverse cohort of qualified businesses. Entrepreneurs who advance from the first round will be contacted and interviewed. Candidates will be notified if they have or have not been selected for a cohort.
Competitive candidates also possess:
- At least 12 months of business operations.
- Revenue that is greater than $1 but below $250,000 per year
- A clear vision for the product or service offered.
- An understanding of specific challenges their business faces
Can teams apply, or is Veterans in Residence open only to individuals?
Teams are welcome to apply but only one representative per entity serves as the official program member. A Cofounder (maximum of one) may participate on-screen with the official program member in the virtual huddles and may accompany the official program member to any 1:1 meeting with the Facilitator. Cofounders are the guest of the official program member, are not in the cohort email distribution, do not complete progress reports, surveys, or receive certificates of completion/badges for participating.
Do all people on a team need to be military veterans or family members?
I was rejected from Veterans in Residence in the past. Can I apply again?
Can I be employed at my day job and still participate in Veterans in Residence?
Yes, as long as you have the capacity to focus on growing your business and be an active, engaged cohort participant, as well as the flexibility to attend weekly required meetings and participate in virtual forums and group chats. It can be a lot to juggle, but many have done it and found success.
What happens after the 16 weeks are done?
There are many possible paths:
- Apply to become a Veterans in Residence alumni captain. Alumni captains provide support for subsequent cohorts, drawing on their own experience as an entrepreneur and program participant.
- Apply to become a local Ambassador for Bunker Labs
- Apply to join the CEOcircle program for more established founders and executives.
- Continue attending local Bunker Labs Showcase events twice a year to meet and support new participants, and stay connected to the Bunker Labs community.
- There are also courses and workshop series for additional learning opportunities, local and national events, and a robust digital community.
What's the difference between Veterans in Residence and TechStars or Y Combinator?
TechStars and Y Combinator are startup accelerators, which means that they financially invest in all admitted startups in exchange for an equity stake. Veterans in Residence is an incubator, not an accelerator, and the most important distinction to note is that Bunker Labs does not make a financial investment in the admitted companies, nor does Bunker Labs take an equity stake.
There are some similarities between Bunker Labs and TechStars and Y Combinator, such as providing, a strong business network, targeted resources, programming, and support to facilitate growth.
Do I have to be a start-up, or can I be a small business?
Do I have to be earning revenue?
Yes. Applicants should have generated some revenue, but not more than $250,000 in annual revenue at the time of application.
What if I still have questions?
Have a few more questions? Check out the Veterans in Residence Program Overview.
This program is made possible in part by Capital One, ADP & Robinhood.