(Mass Appeal) – There are more than 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in the United States, but that still accounts for just 9% of small businesses in the U.S. In recognition of our nation’s military-affiliated entrepreneurs, and as part of USAA’s 100th anniversary in 2022, USAA has joined with Bunker Labs to launch a six-city pitch contest to showcase, celebrate and support the next generation of entrepreneurs, with a focus on veterans and military spouses.

The “From Service to Start-Up” pitch contest, which features a $100,000 grand prize and $180,000 in additional placement prizes, seeks to reinforce to the veteran community that their military service and experience are valued and that their leadership and positive contributions to their communities are important.

USAA has provided Bunker Labs more than $2.5 million since 2018 to ensure military-connected entrepreneurs receive the resources and support needed to start successful business ventures through programs such as Veteran in Residence, a six-month startup incubator that provides veterans, military spouses, and military family members with the community, national business network, and resources needed to grow their business.