SAN ANTONIO – USAA is proud to announce Clark Yuan, West Point graduate, Army veteran and founder and CEO of Candelytics, as the grand prize winner of its From Service to Startup: USAA’s 100th Anniversary Pitch Contest. Yuan received $100,000 as the winner of the final competition, beating out 42 entrepreneurs who also presented their businesses in regional competitions across the country throughout 2022.
“We are incredibly proud of the quality of startups that we saw throughout the 2022 pitch competition,” said Nathan McKinley, vice president and head of Corporate Development at USAA. “The 10 finalists who presented to our panel of judges this week impressed us with not only their business models, but their tenacity and creativity. We couldn’t be more grateful to their dedication and commitment.”
USAA joined with Bunker Labs to launch the pitch contest series in December 2021 as part of the company’s’ 100th anniversary celebration in 2022. More than 500 entrepreneurs submitted their ideas, 43 entrepreneurs pitched in the six regional competitions and 10 finalists presented at USAA’s headquarters in San Antonio on Nov. 10.
Yuan was not the only entrepreneur to take home winnings. Twelve entrepreneurs representing a diverse demographic with ties to the military community also took home funding through the six regional competitions and the businesses below walked away from the final competition with additional dollars:
“Bunker Labs was honored to partner with USAA to celebrate its 100th anniversary by supporting the next generation of military spouses and veteran entrepreneurs,” said Blake Hogan, CEO of Bunker Labs. “All competitors brought forth inspiring and innovative solutions, and we look forward to continuing to support their journey to build companies that last 100 years.”
Bunker Labs, a leading non-profit that works to empower and support military-connected entrepreneurs and small business owners, led the full application and support process. USAA has provided more than $2.5 million to Bunker Labs 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 business incubator that provides veterans, military spouses, and military family members with coworking space, local community, a national business network, and targeted support to grow their business.
Additional information and stories about the year-long pitch competition can be found at bunkerlabs.org/usaa-pitch.
Founded in 1922 by a group of military officers, USAA is among the leading providers of insurance, banking and investment and retirement solutions to more than 13 million members of the U.S. military, veterans who have honorably served and their families. Headquartered in San Antonio, USAA has offices in seven U.S. cities and three overseas locations and employs approximately 36,000 people worldwide. Each year, the company contributes to national and local nonprofits in support of military families and communities where employees live and work. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.
About Bunker Labs
Bunker Labs is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission of ensuring that the military-connected community has the network, tools, and opportunities they need to start successful ventures. We accomplish our mission by inspiring members of the military community to see their entrepreneurial potential. We equip our program participants with practical tools, insights, experts, and resources to accelerate their success, and we connect entrepreneurs with a robust community and diverse, relevant networks.