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Showcasing veteran entrepreneurs, empowering local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and building powerful connections.

March 12th, 2020

MetLife Global Technology Campus

101 MetLife Way, Cary, North Carolina

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The Muster Across America Tour is Bunker Labs’ annual national tour to cities across the United States showcasing veteran entrepreneurs, empowering local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and building powerful connections between the veteran community and the business community.


Presented by the Military Veterans Network at MetLife, the Muster Atlantic Region will be held on Thursday, March 12th from 9am – 7pm at the MetLife Global Technology Campus in the Research Triangle Park.  The event welcomes veterans, corporate partners, and innovators to come, bring their best ideas and develop new connections and insights.

Many veterans transition from the military with unique skills and experiences that lend themselves to starting sustainable small businesses. The Muster Across America Tour is a catalyzing event to stand up and strengthen this expanding network of military veterans, successful entrepreneurs, and the communities they serve.



In addition to our fantastic lineup of guest speakers, The Muster RDU features countless leaders from the innovation, entrepreneurship, financing, corporate and the non-profit space.   All of them are influencers and experts in their respective fields who will share their experiences to help you learn and grow your business.

To learn more about all of our guests and to see the full agenda along with workshop and panel descriptions, you can click the link below…


Be A Part of the Southeast's Premier Veteran Innovation Event!



This year’s program will bring together over 300 participants and partners for a full day of veteran entrepreneurs pitching their businesses, an Idea Lab, and a Marketplace to showcase opportunities and products from veteran-owned small businesses and companies that support the veteran community.


Main Stage

Featuring expert talks and panel discussions, where our guests  and partners present their insight.  Talks and panel discussions with political, military and corporate leaders will cover topics such as, procurement, technology, investment and talent landscape, and veteran social impact.

Get Your Tickets for The Muster Atlantic


Pitch Competition

A showcase competition where veteran entrepreneurs compete for the title of top-performing veteran-led startup.   Five finalists for the region have been selected for this years event and will compete for a $10,000 prize.  If you have a company and would like to pitch at next years event, it is never too early to register and get involved.  So please apply and come out in support of this years event.

Apply Now To Pitch Your Business At The Muster Atlantic

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Mission Showcase

A space for Bunker member companies, other veteran-owned business and businesses that support the veteran community to showcase opportunities, programs, products and services.

Sign-up Your Company To Be A Part of the Mission Showcase


Networking Reception

Refreshments and food will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue about the day’s content and build lasting business connections.

Registration is limited, so get your tickets now!




Who's Coming to the Muster?

Here are just a few examples of the extraordinary business and community leaders who are part of the Bunker Labs network and will be headlining this years event.


Robbie Allen - Select Speaker

Co-Founder & CEO of Startomatic

Robbie Allen is a serial entrepreneur, data enthusiast, UNC sports nut, and the founder of Startomatic (which will use technology and automation to make it easier for people to cut through the red tape of starting a business).

He is a Senior Advisor at Infinia ML, a team of machine learning experts focused on delivering business impact for enterprise organizations. Infinia ML helps companies use data to automate business processes and achieve new breakthroughs.

Previously, Robbie founded and led Automated Insights, whose natural language generation software helps automate content production for The Associated Press, Yahoo!, and many others. Automated Insights was successfully acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2015, and Robbie currently serves as the company’s Executive Chairman. Before starting Automated Insights, Robbie was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco.

Robbie has authored or coauthored eight software books, owns six patents, and has spoken at a variety of conferences including the O’Reilly AI Conference, Strata, SXSW, and the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. He holds two Master’s degrees from MIT and is completing his Ph.D. in computer science at UNCChapel Hill.


D'Shawn Russell - Select Speaker

CEO, Southern Elegance Candle Company

D’Shawn Russell is a true southern belle. Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, she spent summers picking homegrown fresh fruit, swimming in the ocean during the day, and catching lightning bugs at night. As an adult, she held on tight to her sacred memories of attending church all day with her grandmother and then settling in to eat a satisfying meal made with love.

She began making candles that would honor the joys of southern living and provide a creative outlet for her sense of nostalgia. When she started giving them away as gifts, the response was so well received that she decided to take this newfound passion of hers and share it with more people. Thus, Southern Elegance Candle Company was born.

D’Shawn won the 2019 Bunker RDU pitch competition, participates in the monthly CEO Circle, is in 300+ retail locations, and recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program.

Thom Ruhe - Select Speaker

President & CEO, NC IDEA

Thom is President and CEO of NC IDEA. He is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and works with entrepreneurs, governments, universities and NGOs around the world to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow vibrant economies.

During his seven-year tenure at the Kauffman Foundation, he directed the Foundation’s programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems. Thom also led Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a school dedicated to advancing community deployed experiential-based entrepreneurial education.

Thom has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Entrepreneurship, addressed the United Nations Assembly on Entrepreneurship, lectured at conferences around the world and serves on multiple boards including Innovation Fund America and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina.