Year-Old Veteran-Focused Business Incubator Also Receives Over $100,000 in Cash Grants
CHICAGO (May 27, 2015) – As it completes its first year of existence, The Bunker, an innovation laboratory for veteran-led businesses, will be hosting “The Muster” presented by Bank of America. The event is an all-day conference celebrating veteran entrepreneurs and veteran-led innovation at 1871 in Chicago on May 28.
A muster is a term for a military gathering. It generally precedes an operation or deployment. The Bunker is creating the premiere event for veteran entrepreneurship, bringing together companies, organizations and veterans to learn, support, and take real action.
“The Bunker was launched just last year, and is already creating tremendous business and societal impact,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “The Muster is yet another important resource from The Bunker to create opportunities for the men and women who have bravely served our country. 1871 is proud to be The Bunker’s home and we are excited for their future.”
The Bunker is assisting 19 veteran-owned companies housed at 1871, a 75,000 square-foot hub for digital startups in Chicago’s famed Merchandise Mart. Earlier this year, The Bunker opened an affiliate location in Austin, Texas, and will be opening another affiliate in the Washington, D.C., area later this summer.
“The Bunker has gone from an idea to a national network of veterans leading innovation,” said Todd Connor, chief executive officer of The Bunker, and himself a Navy veteran of the Iraq war. “The Muster will be the first of an annual event we will host to convene veteran entrepreneurs, uniformed military leaders, public officials, and industry leaders to discuss how veterans can lead innovation in this country.”
We Are The Mighty, the first media and lifestyle brand for, by, and about the military community, is the official media partner for The Muster. WATM, which creates and distributes authentic content that entertains, informs and celebrates military life, will be on hand at The Muster to capture the excitement, people and activities of this inaugural event. WATM’s The Muster Special will feature some of today’s most innovative veteran entrepreneurs and will highlight the learnings, challenges and successes they have endured.
Jim Cornelison, a solo tenor who regularly delivers the National Anthem at Chicago sporting events, will be doing the same at The Muster.
Several star-studded panel forums and keynote speeches have been lined up for The Muster. Among the confirmed guests: Retired Admiral James Loy, the former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, the U.S. Army’s deputy chief of staff; Chris Marvin, director and founder of Got Your 6; Aaron Olson, chief talent officer for Aon; Mark Rockefeller, CEO and co-founder of Street Shares, and many more.
In addition to Bank of America’s presenting sponsorship, The Muster is also being supported with cash grants from Aon, Veterans Prime, Inc., William Blair, USAA, U.S. Bank, Meijer, Federal Savings Bank, and Huron Consulting.
The Bunker has previously received cash grants from Wintrust Ventures, the Comcast Corporation, Deloitte Consulting LLP, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, DLA Piper law firm, Freeborn & Peters LLP, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank commercial real estate, and the Koziol Family Foundation.