#WeAllServe – Episode #60 with Mike Kelly and A-Jay Orr

“FROM SERVICE TO START-UP” Advocating and Supporting Our Nation’s Veteran and Military Entrepreneurs 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. MAJ (Ret.) Mike Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Military Advocacy at USAA. Mike, along with his team, focus on key veteran and spouse issues, including navigating the transition into the civilian workforce, entrepreneurship, financial readiness, and more. A-Jay Orr, U.S. Army Veteran and Founder and CEO of Simple Plan IT. A-Jay is an award-winning author, IT security expert and founder and CEO of Simple Plan IT – a technology and digital risk management company. A-Jay joined the Bunker Labs community to give back and support the veteran community. He is part of the Bunker Labs Ohio leadership team where he helps to mentor other veteran entrepreneurs and connect them with the resources they need to be successful.