Grit. Determination. Flexibility. Collaboration.
These are among the reasons military veterans make solid, and often successful, entrepreneurs. With vets making up nearly 10 percent of our state's population—ranking it eighth among states—a team of startup founders and large corporations believe they can position North Carolina as a top place to train and support veterans' startup ideas and growing young businesses.
Leading the charge is Bunker Labs, a two-year-old organization based in Chicago and now with chapters in 13 U.S. cities. The Raleigh-Durham branch opened earlier this year, holding an accelerator and other programming for local veterans. And last week was its largest educational event yet.
Called The Muster, it drew veterans from around the U.S. to MetLife's global technology campus in Cary for a full day of speakers, panel discussions, pitches and a marketplace of vet-owned businesses.
In the videos below, leaders of Bunker Labs locally and nationally begin to tell a story of a veteran entrepreneurship movement growing in the Triangle, and how they're supporting its growth.
First up, some thoughts on why support veteran entrepreneurs from Bunker Labs founder Todd Connor:
Why North Carolina makes sense for Bunker Labs:
Plugging entrepreneurs into the local chapter is the job of Dean Bundschu, a veteran, entrepreneur and executive director of Bunker Labs RDU:
Scenes of the chapter's first major event, The Muster, held last week at MetLife:
How and why MetLife is involved in the movement: