Photo above: It takes a village to help create something as grand as Bunker Labs Seattle. Here are some of the people who helped cut the ribbon on the opening day earlier this month: Vice President of Veterans Affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal Brigadier General (Ret.) Carol Eggert; CEO of Bunker Labs Todd Connor; holding the scissors used to cut the ribbon, Comcast Washington Regional Senior Vice President Kyle McSlarrow; Combat Flip Flops founders Matt and Michelle Griffin; Washington State Veterans Affairs Director Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Bunker Labs Development Director Becca Keaty and Seattle Business Administration Director Kerrie Hurd. Photo courtesy: Bunker Labs
This short video featuring veteran entrepreneur Arron Barnes will air on KCTS 9 starting this Memorial Day weekend in Seattle. The video explains how Arron, with the support of Bunker Labs, started his own company. Comcast is honored to be a part of these success stories through our support of Bunker Labs. Immediately below that video, you’ll find a longer version that also shares important messages about the potential of veterans as entrepreneurs. Video producers: Kesshann Cortez, Corbin Richardson, Cascade Public Media and Comcast Washington External Affairs.
And here’s the story: Matt Griffin is the CEO of Combat Flip Flops and a military veteran. Arron Barnes is the founder of Life Butta and a military veteran. Both Matt and Arron got their start by working with Bunker Labs, to turn their dreams of entrepreneurship into a reality.
Bunker Labs is a national non-profit created by military veterans to support the pursuit of veterans looking to start and grow their own business. Earlier this month, Bunker Labs opened their first chapter in Washington State. It’s located on the University of Washington Seattle campus at Startup Hall.
As the founding sponsor in Seattle, Comcast of Washington provided a $100,000 to help build out the 500-square-foot space and launch its programming. This was an unprecedented amount for Comcast to give to a community partner to fully launch their nonprofit — and is a reminder of the strong commitment Comcast has to veterans, both at Comcast and in our community.
The investment included custom furniture and décor built and designed by local veterans and veteran-owned businesses and provided seed funding for Bunker Labs programs to launch across Washington State. The end result is a collaborative work space where veterans can receive support and training to start a business of their very own.
While the hard work of opening Bunker Labs Seattle chapter may be complete, the relationship is just beginning. As a founding sponsor, Comcast is invested in the success of Bunker Labs and those they serve. We’ll look for ways to collaborate in the areas of professional development, recruitment, networking and mentoring.
Both in Seattle and across the country, Bunker Labs will also be an important partner for Comcast as we continue on our journey to hire and support veterans. We’ll seek their expertise on the veteran landscape and look for guidance on what Comcast needs to do to stay relevant, engaged and impactful in the military community.
There have been several posts and news stories about Bunker Labs Seattle. You can visit these to learn more about the services offered and about the opening day: