It’s hard to believe that The Bunker Incubator hasn’t even been at Chicago’s 1871 for a year yet. So far they’ve moved in, launched programs in Austin, Philadelphia, Washington DC, held a conference and now they’re planning to put the Bunker In A Box.
The Bunker is a program built by veteran entrepreneurs, for veteran entrepreneurs starting at the top with Todd Connor who runs the program and was an Operation Iraqi Freedom Navy veteran. Connor knows from personal experience that often times it’s easier to transition to starting something or creating your own business rather than going into the civilian work force, once a military vet has retired.
The other big benefit to the veterans that The Bunker is serving is that Connor and his staff know the ins and outs of federal, state and local grants, tax breaks and other benefits that veterans can take advantage of for launching their own business.
“Great start-up businesses need great leaders who know how to ‘get it done’ amidst uncertain and challenging circumstances. This is what veterans bring,” Connor said when The Bunker opened at 1871 in Chicago. “This represents a truly different model for the veteran community that is not about defining the veteran population as a group that needs help but rather capitalizing on the talent pool of some of the highest performing veterans.”
With all of this outreach Connor has been trying to figure out a way to reach veteran entrepreneurs that live on the outskirts of town and don’t have access to one of The Bunker incubator locations.
The answer lies in his new “Bunker In A box” concept that’s coming to fruition thanks to a $127,000 grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation. He calls the concept, which makes The Bunker easier to utilize for more remote veteran entrepreneurs, a “self-organizing construct for military veterans to get together, form a community and begin to think and talk like entrepreneurs.” Connor told the Chicago Tribune.
The program will consist of one three hour meeting per week for 14 weeks where veterans can gather, discuss and work on the material in their own communities or on military bases. They will have access to a curated video library and self assessments as part of the “Bunker In A Box” program.
As “Bunker In A Box” members they will also have access to The Bunker’s mentor network with over 500 mentors available.
Are you a veteran entrepreneur, find out more at bunkerincubator.com