As we mark the first year since our launch, I am honored, proud and – most of all – excited for what the future holds for our veteran entrepreneur community. When we set out, our goal was to transform Raleigh – Durham into the center of veteran entrepreneurial activity. Since we planted the guidon, our community has engaged with us in a collaborative way to help us provide veteran entrepreneurs with access to first class resources and support throughout the community and the state. By joining with us, we have begun to create a statewide network where veteran entrepreneurs can come to start businesses, grow them and succeed!
This annual report captures just a few of the many highlights from this past year. Bunker Labs is first and foremost a learning organization and most of this past year was focused on discovering how we can best support our veteran community. The mission of Bunker Labs is twofold: first to accelerate the growth of early stage companies as measured by revenue, headcount, connections made (that have an impact), and capital raised. The second social-impact mission of Bunker Labs is to create a “High Collision” environment, or a version of “The modern day VFW – where veterans come together without an agenda because they want to connect, create, innovate and meet like-minded veterans – and form that social ecosystem for the veteran community in Raleigh-Durham and the state of North Carolina. As we continue to grow, our number one priority is to ensure we are having impact while we create a sustainable model for the future.
None of what we have accomplished this past year would have been possible without the support and vision of our national leadership, fellow Bunker leaders, corporate and foundation sponsors and community partners. Because of their support, Bunker Labs RDU will be able to further expand our program in support of veteran needs across diverse business sectors. This type of community support allows us to continue to build upon our already strong foundation of mentors, investors and partner resources. It is because of these leaders that we have been able to introduce our members to the rich entrepreneurial resources our community offers. I am extremely grateful to see all of the goodwill and leadership that exists within our community. Finally I am thankful for all of the amazing veterans who have joined with us and embraced our mission. Know that it is you who inspires me and I am truly honored to have the opportunity to once again serve by your sides.
Dean Bundschu — Executive Director, Bunker Labs RDU