TAMPA — Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit that helps veterans start and operate businesses, will hold a grand opening for its Tampa chapter — the first in Florida — on Sept. 26.
The organization will be based at the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 E. Palm Ave., Tampa. Its volunteer leadership team includes Immertec co-founder and Marine Corps veteran Erik Maltais, as well as 20-year Army veteran Bill Quigley and Valerie Lavin, CEO of Luminary Global, a Tampa-based medical supply firm.
The Tampa chapter, according to a press release, represents Bunker Labs’ first foray into Florida. At present, it has 27 chapters nationwide and plans to have one in each state by 2021.
“Before we decide to open a new chapter, we always take into account the community we are about to enter,” Bunker Labs CEO Todd Connor states in the release. “The Tampa community encompasses all the qualities that are needed to see veteran entrepreneurs can flourish if it is cultivated. With a high concentration of veterans, Tampa knows the needs of veterans business owners and our new chapter will work to fill those needs.”
Maltais, Quigley and Lavin, the release states, have spent the past six months building momentum for the new chapter by establishing strong business connections and speaking with veterans and entrepreneurs throughout the Tampa area.
“We are very excited to bring Bunker Labs to Tampa,” Lavin states in the release. “Tampa veterans are ready to see their dreams come to life with the help of Bunker Labs. We already feel empowered by the community that will continue to grow in Tampa.”