Bunker Stories

Bunker Labs Leadership Summit 2018 – Atlanta

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For us it has been a whirlwind six months. Back in June we convened leaders from across the country in Washington D.C. to formally launch our three-year strategy. Which was our first event in a series, that will eventually culminate in us having a presence in all 50 states by 2021.

Just last week, we held our Winter Summit with nearly one hundred of us gathering together in Atlanta for two days. City Leaders flew in from places as diverse as Seattle to Raleigh from Boston to Los Angeles. They were joined with our leadership team in an effort to focus on making entrepreneurship a more accessible and ultimately successful, journey for veterans in local communities across the country.

The event was hosted inside First Data’s Corporate Innovation Space. First Data is a terrific advocate and supporter of the Bunker Labs Mission.

First Data CTO Mike Manos

“Our mission is to ensure that every veteran entrepreneur has the network, tools, and opportunities they need to start their own business.”

Michael Manos, Chief Technology Officer at First Data, stopped by to give an insightful, and often very funny account of his journey to First Data via companies like Microsoft and AOL.

The Winter Summit took off with an opening from Todd Connor, Bunker Labs CEO and Founder where he framed the journey we have been on since founding in 2014 and the opportunity in front of us. New to the Winter Summit this year was a speaker series featuring — inspirational leaders from the national community of veteran – entrepreneurs:

Steve Cannon, CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, talked about the leadership lesson of not walking by the smallest of messes because of the message indifference would send.

France Hoang, a member of the founding team of MAG Aerospace, recounted his incredible journey from West Point to the White House to being recommissioned for a special forces tour in Afghanistan to co-founding and exiting an aerospace company.

Nick Taranto, the founder of Plated, shared his roller-coaster ride from Hurricane Sandy sweeping away his facility to appearing on Shark Tank to wrestling a summo
 champion in front of his entire staff.

John Timar, the COO of Kill Cliff, sat down with the group to share his company’s passion for fitness drinks, the pains of retail and joys of online sales, and that the company’s leadership included several world title holders including jujitsu.

At the Summit we announced planned expansion in San Diego, Boston, Denver and Omaha. If you are interested in supporting the sustainability of these chapters or others please let us know.

Brian Hamilton of Sageworks – Sageworks is a financial information company that provides lending, credit risk and portfolio risk solutions to financial institutions and provides financial analysis and valuation applications to accounting firms and private companies. 

In addition to the speakers, the host chapter; Atlanta threw a fantastic Bunker Brews in the Sweetwater Brewery and bottling facility with over a hundred and fifty from the community in attendance.

Finally, in the spirit of openness, we enjoyed the opportunity to welcome so many of our critical partners into the room for two days with leaders from organizations at JP Morgan Chase, ADP, Boeing and others in attendance; offering connections and learnings to local city leader throughout the event.

We now look forward to hosting the Summer Annual Summit in Seattle WA in June 2019!