By Betty Boyd, Military Affairs Committee

Mario Mitchell is retired from the Airforce after having served six years of active duty and two years in the reserves. Mario went to an event while he was in New York City, where he met the lead city leader of the New York Bunker Labs chapter. He liked the concept of this non-profit so much, that he fought to bring this a chapter to the city of Las Vegas.

Bunker Labs is a community of like-minded veterans who are working to start their own business. Mario saw the need to equip more veterans with the tools to become entrepreneurs so in May 2019 Bunker Labs Las Vegas was formed. Currently, there are thirty-three chapters across the country. With the help of The Cosmopolitan (the Founding Sponsor) and DraftKings, the national office is able to provide the chapter with all the resources needed.

The Bunker Labs Community has an ecosystem built to support the veteran in the program. This includes:

  • Launch Lab Online is the next step for active-duty military and veterans who want to start their own businesses and jumpstart the next chapter in their life.
  • A partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs, Veterans in Residence is a six-month startup incubator and leadership program that provides veterans and military family member entrepreneurs the community, business support, and workspace to help launch and grow their businesses.
  • CEOcircle is part of our continuum of support for Bunker Labs companies that have displayed higher level growth and traction. This group has a separate set of needs from those in the ideational phase, and the CEOCircle operates to serve those needs.

Upon initiating the chapter, Mario formed a team which includes Dave Burlin and Ann Bernard, and in November 2019, had their first event. There are two-hundred veterans signed up to learn what this chapter has to offer so they too can be their own boss. There are over thirty businesses that want to go through this program.

Bunker Labs’ mission is greatly needed in helping veterans wanting to become entrepreneurs. Bunkers Labs Las Vegas gives each veteran the opportunity to explore their passion, take the appropriate classes that provide the necessary skills for their dream to come true.

Mario, we thank you for your service and commend you for helping veterans realize the dream of being an entrepreneur

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