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RideScout App Founded by Army Vets Chosen as First 'Bunker' Tenant

 The RideScout team (front row, from left) Ryan Black, CEO Joseph Kopser and Kate Ronkainen.
The RideScout team (front row, from left) Ryan Black, CEO Joseph Kopser and Kate Ronkainen.
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RIVER NORTH — A travel-planning app founded by four Army veterans has been chosen as the first tenant for The Bunker, a tech incubator specifically for military veterans housed within River North startup hub 1871.

The team behind RideScout — a mobile app that compares costs and travel times between different modes of transportation on a trip-by-trip basis — will move into the dedicated veterans section of 1871 this fall.

"RideScout has been a great 1871 supporter, even hosting their Chicago launch in our space,"  1871 CEO Howard Tullman said in a release Tuesday. "Today, we are excited to officially have them as part of our community and as the first company in the space that is focused on fostering jobs for veterans."

The Bunker's formation was announced last month by Tullman, Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Pat Quinn and the Pat Tillman Foundation. It will occupy a portion of the $2.5 million, 25,000-square-foot expansion set to be completed at 1871 by October.

The new facility at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza seeks to foster opportunities for veterans in the technology industry.

The app, founded in Austin, launched in Chicago in June. They're looking to hire three to four veterans to support the growth of the Chicago team based in the Bunker, according to an announcement.

"With a founding team of four Army veterans, RideScout is thrilled to secure a spot at 1871 and The Bunker as we scale our growth in the Midwest," Joseph Kopser, Co-Founder and CEO of RideScout, said in a release.

"The Bunker is a platform to help us find talent, connect with investors, and spread the word about RideScout throughout Chicago and beyond.”

Bunker CEO Todd Connor, himself a Navy veteran, called RideScout "a great product to change the transportation game here in the United States."

"Already, The Bunker is creating a community for veterans, their businesses, and the investor community that amplifies the potential of veterans to create and grow successful businesses," Connor said. "We welcome RideScout to Chicago, 1871, and The Bunker."

Applications for tech startups interested in joining RideScout at the Bunker will be available in August.

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