Muster 2018 – An Inspiring Day for the Philadelphia Region
Bunker Labs Philadelphia proudly hosted its 3rd Annual Muster Summit on September 27th at the prestigious Hussian College. The day was filled with networking and learning from high-performing veterans, entrepreneurs and business minds.
Secretary Patrick Murphy, an Army veteran, the former Under Secretary of the Army, Co-Founder and Executive Chairmen of WorkMerk, kicked off the event emphasizing the impact veteran entrepreneurs have in the business world.
“The American veteran is a civic asset to our nation,” said Murphy. “We need to drive that innovative spirit.”
Throughout the day, attendees could enjoy Philly soft pretzels or veteran-created organic popcorn, while hearing from veterans discuss their transition from military to business, the challenges they faced, their passion for their company, and how organizations like Bunker Labs have impacted their lives. A few of the day’s speakers included, Retired Major General, former head of Army Intelligence and CNN military contributor Spider Marks, Director of Sixers Innovation Lab and founder and CEO of And 1 Seth Berger, former Staff Sergeant and founder of Dub Fitness Erica Webster, Army veteran and founder of Backward Flag Brewing Torie Fisher and more!
“The veteran entrepreneurial community fires me up in so many ways, remarked PHL City Leader Dennis Miller. “I get really motivated when I’m around these folks."
Amidst the inspiring speeches and networking, Bunker Labs recognized an individual who has committed themselves to veterans over the course of the career. Army Vietnam Veteran and host of “Welcome Home Veterans Radio on WIBG AM,” Joe Griffies, was awarded the Humility and Honor Award for giving veterans the “welcome home” they deserve and also for serving as a spokesperson for veteran rights. One of the many highlights came when Bunker Labs announced it has been awarded a $60,000 grant from The Boeing Company. The grant will directly support the Launch Lab X Cohort program, a 16-week mentor program.
“We are honored to receive this grant from Boeing and humbled to know they see the difference that we’re making in these veteran entrepreneurs,” said Joe Witte, Executive Director of Bunker Labs PHL and a former Captain in the US Army.
Thanks to the Ford Foundation, Bunker Labs PHL also recognized eight startup companies who participated in a startup pitch competition. Veteran Lola Freeman founder of Fairytale Moments was awarded $5,000 and Kiernan Carroll, CEO of TravStrat took home $2,500 as the first and second place honorees. Judging was based on the following criteria: must be a veteran-owned company; the company has participated actively in a Bunker Labs programming; and that they are willing to provide the follow up information the Ford Foundation requested on the impact the funds will have on their business.
As added support, Bunker Labs PHL also awarded the six other participants with $500 to go towards helping these businesses grow.
The 2018 PHL Muster was filled with inspiring veterans and thought leaders who continue to strive to make a difference. We would like to thank everyone who made the 2018 PHL Muster successful - all of our speakers, attendees, sponsors, and of course, veterans!
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