Beyond the Pitch

Bunker Labs and JPMorgan Chase Empower Veteran Entrepreneurs through Bunker Builds America Tour

Bunker Labs

$1.5 million grant supports national expansion of nonprofit supporting active-duty military and Veteran entrepreneurs

COLUMBUS, OHIO (May 5, 2016) –In conjunction with National Small Business Week and Columbus Startup Week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a two-year, $1.5 million commitment to Bunker Labs, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports early phase Veteran-owned startups. The new grant enables the launch of the Bunker Builds America Tour, a 10-month series of events to be held across the country showcasing local Veteran entrepreneurs and heralding new chapters of Bunker Labs.

Veterans interested in starting or growing small businesses in or near Bunker Builds cities will gain access to resources, programs and curriculum designed to translate military experience into starting sustainable and scalable businesses.

“The military prepares service members to lead through uncertainty, make tough decisions, and persevere – all qualities that lead to success in small business. Bolstering that success is part of our mission at JPMorgan Chase” said Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Business Banking. “That is why we are proud to support the Bunker Builds America Tour, which will serve Veteran entrepreneurs across the country as they start and grow businesses in their communities.”

Following World War II, roughly 50 percent of returning Veterans started a business. Today approximately 25 percent of post-9/11 Veterans state they want to start a business, yet less than 10 percent of small businesses are actually owned by Veterans.

Bunker Labs is working to present entrepreneurship as a viable post-service opportunity.  Launched in 2014 by Navy Veteran Todd Connor, Bunker Labs helps meet the unique needs of Veteran entrepreneurs by providing training, workspace, access to investors and mentors, and a peer-to-peer learning environment.

“Since launch, we’ve been able to help our member businesses raise more than $16 million in early funding, create nearly 140 jobs, and generate nearly $6 million in revenue. We know we have a model that works, and now we’re ready to do more,” said Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs. “Together with JPMorgan Chase, we are packing up and hitting the road to catalyze that next greatest generation of military-trained entrepreneurs.”

Launch of Bunker Labs Columbus

Piepszak joined Connor for a morning event at Columbus Startup Week to announce the launch of the tour, meaningful in part because Columbus will be home to a new Bunker Labs chapter in 2016. Bunker Labs Columbus will be headquartered in the Rev1 Ventures complex.

“Rev1 shares central Ohio’s commitment to supporting all entrepreneurs by providing diverse resources necessary to build successful companies,” said Tom Walker, CEO of Rev1 Ventures. “By offering tools tailored to assist our region’s Veteran entrepreneurs, Bunker Labs is a critical part of the Rev1 mission to deliver a more inclusive startup ecosystem.”

Programming will launch in late 2016, but local veteran entrepreneurs will have access to Rev1’s monthly founder programming and First Connect network to connect with resources in legal, HR, accounting, marketing and more.

Bunker Builds America Tour Schedule

Bunker Builds City Date
Columbus, Ohio* May 5, 2016
Chicago May 12, 2016
Nashville, Tenn. June 28, 2016
Kansas City, Miss. September 21, 2016
Raleigh-Durham, N.C. September 22, 2016
Madison, Wis. September 30, 2016
Austin, Texas October 8, 2016
Jacksonville, Fla. November 5, 2016
Philadelphia November 11, 2016
Washington December 8, 2016
Seattle* February 23, 2017
Los Angeles* March 23, 2017

*indicates new Bunker Labs location

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management.  By focusing on employment, financial capability and small business, JPMorgan Chase aims to position military members, Veterans and their families for success in their post-service lives. To learn more about the company’s efforts, visit

About Bunker Labs

Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit organization built by military Veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military Veterans as leaders in innovation. Through local chapters organized in 8 different cities, Bunker Labs provides educational programming, mentors, events, and thriving local networks to help military Veterans start and grow businesses. Bunker Labs works to inspire, educate, and connect Veterans with the right people and the right resources to be successful as entrepreneurs and as innovators. Our online platform, Bunker in a Box, gives active duty and Veterans worldwide access to entrepreneurship education, complete with dozens of interviews with military Veterans who have successfully started a diverse array of businesses. For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter @TheBunkerLabs, or like us on Facebook.

Media Contact:

Kim Morton, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

P: 302.383.8511  E:

  • Get startup tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

  • Resources

    Getting Started
    Tips for turning a concept into a company

    Getting Customers
    From honing your pitch to getting your first customer

    Success Stories
    Entrepreneur Success

    Getting Funding
    How and where to get the cash you need to grow

    The Hard Stuff
    How to navigate hiring, taxes, legal and more

    The Network Effect
    Making the right connections at the right time

    #Startup Buzz
    The news and trends that matter to you

    Rev1 News & Events
    The latest buzz and networking opportunities