A business incubator for veteran-owned
and military spouse-owned startups

Applications are closed for the current Veterans in Residence Cohort.

Join the waitlist to be notified as soon as applications open for the next cohort!

COMMIT TO GROWTH

Veterans in Residence is a business incubator that provides veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners with coworking space, local community, a national business network, and targeted support to grow their business.

Veterans in Residence is a partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

WHO

Veterans and military spouses who have launched a business and are ready to grow.

WHAT

A business incubator for early-stage startups and growth-oriented small businesses.

WHERE

A local WeWork Veterans in Residence coworking space or virtual space.*

WHEN

New cohorts launch every January and July. Each cohort runs for six months.

WHY

Gain a cohort of peers who hold each other accountable for business growth and success.

Applications are closed for the current Veterans in Residence Cohort.

Join the waitlist to be notified as soon as applications open for the next cohort!

*If Veterans in Residence is offered in a location without a WeWork, a local coworking space will provide the same or fundamentally similar space. Some cohorts are offered entirely virtually to provide access to entrepreneurs without a local cohort.

LEARN MORE

FAQ

IMPACT

89%

of veteran-owned businesses reported accelerated business growth.

44%

of veteran-owned businesses increased their run-rate revenue.

23%

of veteran-owned businesses raised funding between months one and six.

FEATURED STARTUPS

ALUMNI TESTIMONIALS

I attest my ramp-up to Bunker’s Veterans in Residence program. It’s given me a platform, feedback, and mentors who care. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey and to be a part of a group of vets and milspouse entrepreneurs who get you and the journey is beyond measure of gratitude.
Alexa Moderno

Co-Founder, Backpacks for Life

The Veterans in Residence program prepped me on how to properly articulate my business idea in a pitch and in conversational networking. Bunker Labs helped put our organization on the map at a national level which led to sponsorships, grants, and endless opportunities within the veteran community.
Yasmine George

CEO, The Trends Lab

The huddles gave us the awareness and the encouragement to seize opportunities that we might otherwise never consider. Referrals led to our first international client in Canada, a new client in Washington, DC, and a collaboration with The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.

Carlton Reid

CEO, DCR Outsourcing

This allowed me to pitch my venture, to meet with other entrepreneurs, and be around a community that is new and exciting.
Mike Steadman

Founder & CEO, Ironbound Boxing

I’ve learned if you are going to be successful in a place as dynamic as this, it’s going to be through the network.
Nancy Preston

Founder & CEO, Milk Money Kitchens

What will your story be?
Apply now to start your entrepreneurship journey.

 
Your Name Here

Veterans in Residence

Why Veterans in Residence?

There are many business incubators in the United States. There are few business incubators created by and for the veteran and military spouse entrepreneur community.

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.

Applications are closed for the current Veterans in Residence Cohort.

Join the waitlist to be notified as soon as applications open for the next cohort!

Program Timeline:

Month 1
Onboarding and orientation

Month 2-5
Weekly huddles
Monthly masterclass

Month 6
Capstone Event
Pitch Competition
Entrepreneur Showcase

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is eligible to participate in Veterans in Residence?
Veterans and military family members who have formed a legal business entity (an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or registered nonprofit).
Are nonprofit startup organizations eligible to apply?
Yes, provided they are registered as a legal entity and are growth-oriented.
What kind of commitment does the program require?
Cohort participants are required to:

  • Attend onboarding and orientation meetings
  • Attend weekly huddles with their cohort
  • Attend monthly masterclasses in business topics

Adhere to WeWork Community Guidelines

There is no Veterans in Residence cohort near me. Can I still apply?
Yes, there is a virtual cohort that brings together entrepreneurs from across the country who do not have a local cohort.
How big is each cohort?
Generally, participation ranges from 8-10 Veterans in Residence per city. Some virtual cohorts may have up to 12 Veterans
What is the difference between a virtual cohort and city-based cohorts that meet virtually?
Cities that have existing Veterans in Residence programs typically work out of the same physical coworking space, share a Veterans Quarters and meeting spaces, and regularly meet in person. Due to COVID-19, some city-based programs are meeting virtually for the time being.

The virtual cohort provides program access to entrepreneurs who do not have a local option available and always meets virtually.

Are there any fees?
No.
Do Bunker Labs or WeWork make investments in cohort businesses?
No. Bunker Labs and WeWork do not make investments in participating businesses, nor do they facilitate external investments. However, there may be opportunities to connect with investors through program events. Bunker Labs also organizes periodic pitch competitions, and Veterans in Residence participants are invited to apply to pitch.
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.
Can teams apply, or is Veterans in Residence open only to individuals?
Teams are welcome to apply but only one representative from an entity is selected as the official program member. Cofounders can participate in monthly masterclasses and come as guests to the WeWork space, but they do not have full access to WeWork and do not participate in the weekly huddles.
Do all people on a team need to be military veterans or family members?
No, but at least one founder must be.
I was rejected from Veterans in Residence in the past. Can I apply again?
Yes. Please ensure you meet the qualifications, in particular, that you have formed a legal business entity.
What are other criteria of competitive candidates?
We look for:

  • Revenue that is greater than zero but below $100,000 per year
  • A clear vision for the product or service offered
  • An understanding of specific challenges the business faces
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, the flexibility to attend weekly required meetings, and ability to be an active, engaged cohort participant, such as in virtual forums and group chats. It can be a lot to juggle, but many have done it and succeeded—to the point that they’ve quit their day job halfway through.
Can I access the shared coworking space during the pandemic?
Refer to local guidelines. Each location has its own protocol based on a combination of city, state, and federal regulations. If your location is open for in-person coworking, we urge you to follow safety protocols at all times. If your location is not open for in-person coworking, meetings will be held virtually or outdoors, local weather permitting.
What happens after the six months 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. 
  • 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 coworking space, a strong business network, and targeted resources, programming, and support to facilitate growth.

Do I have to be a start-up, or can I be a small business?
Small businesses with a focus on growth are welcome to apply!
Do I have to be earning revenue?
Yes. Applicants should have generated some revenue, but not more than $100,000, at the time of application. We recommend interested applicants that have not yet generated revenue start with Launch Lab Online or other courses and workshops to help move from idea to revenue before applying to Veterans in Residence.

Founding Partner

This program is made possible in part by USAA, Macy’s, & WeWork.