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Bunker Labs Wisconsin: To host first Muster Across Wisconsin event in La Crosse
4/17/2017

Contact:
Michael Ertmer
(608) 709-9509
michael.ertmer@bunkerlabs.org

[Madison, Wis.] – Bunker Labs Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Technology Council and Wisconsin Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will kick off the Muster Across Wisconsin tour Wednesday, April 19, in La Crosse.

The purpose of the business networking and professional development event is to inspire, educate and connect military veteran entrepreneurs with small business owners, leading employers and the local business community in order to help encourage growth and collaboration throughout Wisconsin.

Wednesday’s event, from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern in La Crosse starts with comments from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), includes a workshop by the UW-La Crosse SBDC, one-on-one networking and a keynote speech from Logistics Health Inc.’s CEO Don Weber, a decorated Vietnam veteran.

“We are excited to bring our first Muster Across Wisconsin program to La Crosse,” said Michael Ertmer, Executive Director of Bunker Labs Wisconsin. “Don Weber is an amazing example of a successful military veteran entrepreneur who persevered over a lot of challenges and uncertainty to lead LHI to create more than 1,400 jobs.”

Muster Across Wisconsin events aim to connect military veterans who want to start or grow their own business with resources through Bunker Labs Wisconsin, the Wisconsin SBDC Network, the Wisconsin Technology Council and others. The effort is supported in large part by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Muster Across Wisconsin tour includes first-of-its-kind business events in UW System campus cities. Learning sessions, small breakout groups and professional networking opportunities are all tailored to the specific needs of veteran entrepreneurs to help them become tomorrow’s business success stories.

Registration for the event is still available; sign up here. All veterans are given discounted admission.

After World War II, 49% of military veterans became entrepreneurs who owned and operated a business and helped lead America’s post-war economic boom, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF). Approximately 40% of Korean War veterans did the same, creating millions of jobs along the way. Today, however, the Department of Defense estimates that 200,000 service members transition from active duty in the U.S. each of the next five years, and IVMF has found that more than 20% of them want to start their own business but only 6% will become entrepreneurs. Based on U.S. Census data, that translates to 3,500 veterans and 700 potential new businesses each year to join the 40,147 veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin.
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