Print
Entrepreneurs

Bunker Labs To Launch Wilmington Chapter In February

By Johanna Cano, posted Jan 4, 2019
Bunker Labs, a nonprofit that provides resources for veteran entrepreneurs, will launch a Wilmington chapter in February as part of its plans to grow in the state.

There will be a launch event Feb. 13 at Ironclad Brewery, where city leaders and partners in the community will be introduced, said Dean Bundschu, Atlantic regional executive director for Bunker Labs.

As a nonprofit, Bunker Labs provides online courses, networking opportunities and other resources to help veterans start their businesses. The organization is made up of a network of veteran entrepreneur volunteers.

“Locally, we will have three volunteer city leaders, who will focus on three core areas: entrepreneurship, community and operations,” he said.

The Wilmington chapter will have monthly Bunker Brews networking events and eventually run a CEOcircle Entrepreneurship program, where CEOs gather to get resources to further grow their companies.

The official chapter is opening in Wilmington because of the entrepreneurship environment present here, Bundschu said.

“According to USAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and IVMF, Wilmington is the No. 6 rated city in the entire U.S. for veteran entrepreneurs,” he said. “Additionally, Jim Roberts did a fantastic job building and connecting the Wilmington entrepreneur community through Network for Entrepreneur in Wilmington. His WALE angel group also helped four local veteran-run business raise funding. So Bunker launching a formal chapter there is an extension of his work.”

Roberts was the previous community development director for Bunker Labs, and he also ran a monthly Bunker Brews networking event in Wilmington.

Bunker Labs will address the need to support veteran entrepreneurs in Wilmington by providing free programs to military veterans and military spouses who are interested in starting a business, Bundschu said.

In addition to Wilmington, Bunker Labs will open chapters in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Asheville this year with support from NC IDEA Foundation.

NC IDEA was awarded a grant as part of its Ecosystem Partners program that will fund the launch of the five new chapters in the state.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will collaborate with the local chapter, he said.

While there are many programs in the U.S. designed to support aspiring entrepreneurs, they are heavily concentrated in a few major metropolitan areas and most charge some fee and/or expect to take equity in a company, Bundschu said.

“These programs can be inappropriate for military veterans or military spouses who have nothing more than an idea or for those who don’t really know if entrepreneurship is the right path for them,” he said.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Alexandra

Holidays And Homework

Alexandra Lysik - Cavik Insurance
Robindavisccu1 1011944433

Is A HELOC Right For You?

Robin Davis - Corning Credit Union (CCU)
Alycephillipsnew2

Repairing Estate Planning Mistakes: There Are Ways To Clean Up A Mess

Alyce Phillips - Old North State Trust LLC

Trending News

Live Oak Bank Sprouts A Presence In Raleigh

Jenny Callison - Jan 20, 2020

Alcami Acquires TriPharm Services

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 20, 2020

In The Current Issue

MADE: Driven To Expand Business

South Atlantic Services is a Wilmington-headquartered contract manufacturing and packaging company that makes automotive and industrial cool...


Working As A Husband-and-wife Team

The Wilmington business owned by husband and wife Devin and Brooke Skipper began with Devin as the sole employee about eight years ago befor...


A Matter Of School Days For Tourism

Although the school calendar is staying the same for now for New Hanover County schools, it’s an ongoing issue that tourism and educators gr...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`