National veteran entrepreneur nonprofit opens Des Moines chapter

Bunker Labs, a national non-profit helping veteran, military spouse, and active military entrepreneurs, is launching its newest chapter in Des Moines.

Bunker Labs seeks to inspire veterans, active military, and military spouses to start their own business by providing them proper resources and connections. The Des Moines chapter is the first Bunker Labs chapter in Iowa.

“Bunker Labs is excited to continue its expansion in the Midwest,” said Todd Connor, Bunker Labs CEO. “There are so many skilled, qualified, and passionate members of the military community in Des Moines and we are excited to help them develop the knowledge and connections to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.” 

Bunker Labs DSM will host monthly Bunker Brews events that bring communities and resources together, deliver substantive content, and host mentors and relevant speakers. The organization also host a Launch Lab Online Program, Veterans in Residence (VIR), and CEO Circle programs. These programs will provide access to military-connected companies, a network of fellow entrepreneurs andimpactful mentors.

Bernie Stone will serve as the Des Moines chapter’s volunteer city leader. Stone has already begun to build momentum for the new chapter by establishing strong business connections and speaking with veterans and entrepreneurs throughout the area.

Stone, an Army combat veteran became interested in Bunker Labs after witnessing under-utilized veteran talent around Des Moines and the positive impact Bunker Labs has made in other communities. 

“The military does a fantastic job of emphasizing the organization over the individual. So, veterans leave the military and feel adrift because we are no longer part of a unit or organization. We scatter resumes everywhere in the hope that someone will recognize the tremendous value we bring. Sometimes it works – most of the time, it doesn’t,” said Stone. “Bunker Labs is a great solution providing education, guidance, and support for the military community to create their own company – one where their talents and experiences are guaranteed to be put to work.” 

As part of its soft launch, the chapter’s first event will be a Bunker Brews on March 19.