1. I’m not a veteran or military spouse entrepreneur.
One of the Bunker’s long term outcomes is to successfully integrate veterans and veteran owned companies into the greater business community. This means a “civilian-led” startup’s participation is just as critical to our mission as military veteran participation.
2. I haven’t made enough traction to join the participating companies.
Our critical questions and core curriculum are cultivated in a way to accelerate your discovery, growth, innovations, and connections – whether you’re at square one or halfway down the road. We are obsessed with catalyzing human potential as long as you’re willing to strap in and join us for the ride.
3. I’ve made too much traction to join the participating companies.
We hear this a lot, and our response is frequently “you don’t know what you don’t know”. The Bunker Labs DC leadership, in tandem with our core team of mentors Ash, Tim, and Nancy, are here to help you overcome any confirmation biases and best-posture you to have the most bargaining power in front of your potential investors.
4. I’m still working/in school/active duty/out there running this company full time.
We’re aware that as an entrepreneur, you have a lot of competing priorities. Our program is designed to deliver maximum impact around minimum time commitments (primarily Wednesday nights, 4:30 – 8:30 PM). Additionally, we are a truly committed staff, and are happy to be flexible with our schedules as you need.
5. I’m not an “insert industry here” company.
Not every company of value being built today is going to look the same – and that’s part of the excitement of working in an accelerator. The framework of our program – lean canvas, design thinking, & purpose based branding – lends itself beautifully to a variety of business structures and aims.
6. I’ve already received my MBA/comparable education.
Our entrepreneurially-focused program is bench-marked against the best in the industry, and our facilitators and mentors are, simply stated, irreplaceable. We’ve liberally shared what might seem like “our secret sauce curriculum”, but we know our unique value proposition is in it’s delivery. Our cohort works through case studies presented by the Darden School of Business on Monday evenings that culminate in a certificate for participants.
7. I’m not sure I can make the monetary commitment.
Money is important to entrepreneurs, especially those who are bootstrapping to launch their startups. Think of our price ($300 per month for 5 months; totaling $1500) as your skin-in-the-game investment. We’re fortunate as a nonprofit to be supported by great sponsors, donors, and grants – so our goal is not to make this a cost-prohibitive program. If it’s money that’s holding you back to applying, please let us know.
8. I’m not sure I believe you that the program is worth it.
I think our Director, Ray Crowell, covers this best in his LinkedIn Pulse articles the “Value of Bunker Labs” and “Why Bunker Labs DC”. If you need further convincing – we do our best work in person. Come find us at local startup & tech events, visit us at Capitol Post, or get us on your happy hour schedule anytime.
9. I’m already involved in the DC start up scene.
Listen, we get it – we’re new kids on the block, relatively speaking. It’s not lost on us that we’re in a hot market for accelerator programs, startup mentorship, and business incubation. We are complimentary to everything you’re already a part of – but go above and beyond with our personal attention to, and I quote, “get s*** done”. Access to the national network of Bunker Labs (read: 11 chapters in major cities coast to coast), too, is a major bonus to joining our program.
10. I’m not sure that Old Town Alexandria is a hotbed of startup activity.
As an auxiliary to the previous post, we’ve got a great space for serious entrepreneurs to come and put their noses to the grindstone – with a great, fun, atmosphere – minus the distractions. Couple that with the fact we share our space with theAlexandria Small Business Development Center, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and Visit Alexandria, we’re well positioned to provide instant access to incredible resources. If you’re still not convinced, then be satisfied that a lot of major programming takes place off site – pitch competitions, founder’s roundtables, mentor madness sessions – all of it is interspersed throughout the DMV.
Bottom Line: We’re looking for dedicated, serious entrepreneurs who are striving for measurable success in their startups. We’re not interested in your equity; we’re just passionately invested in our mission to serve as the platform for scalable and sustainable businesses, done through our delivery of world-class accelerator programming. If you’re looking for a change in velocity and are limited on time (read: runway), come see us.