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Third Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival Announces Initial Line-up

January 28, 2014 | By: net_admin | Tags: festival, 10k pitch competition, merchandise, mcguffey

Five Days of Free Music, Art, and Innovation in Charlottesville, VA, April 9th through 13th

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (January 28, 2014) Tom Tom Founders Festival returns in 2014 as the gathering of the year for inventors, creatives, and entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic. The five days of mostly free performances, workshops, and fun in early April will draw innovators nationwide to Charlottesville, transforming the city’s picturesque Downtown Mall into a teeming hub for multi-disciplinary innovation and creativity. Tom Tom gathers leaders from ten fields in its 2014 programming.



  • MUSIC Hundreds of artists representing the very best in up-and-coming music from Virginia and DC will play over 60 free concerts in multiple venues across Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall. Everything from dubstep to zydeco, rap to folk can be found in this eclectic urban festival.
  • ART Tom Tom turns Charlottesville into a canvas for residents’ and visitors’ creativity. Murals take over retaining walls. Poetry fills the city’s free trolleys. A vintage market spills into a craft fair, and parking spaces become artist habitats. A Design Marathon teams artists with nonprofits, while workshops on everyday collecting, comics and zines, and independent fashion all bring art into the open.
  • FOOD The farms, vineyards, and breweries of the Blue Ridge Valley are second to none on the East Coast. They are the engine of a booming local food culture, inspiring Forbes’ declaration that Charlottesville is the locavore capital of the world. Tom Tom explores this farm to table ecosystem through tastings, tours, and industry panels.


  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP A Crowdfunded Pitch Night, sponsored by the i.Lab at U.Va, kicks off a deep dive into cultures of founding. East Coast angel investors take a soup to nuts look at dealflow from Silicon Valley to emerging US research hubs like Charlottesville, while talks and workshops on design thinking, social business, and scaling from a small city yield practical lessons for entrepreneurs. The weekend closes with another pitch competition: the Galant Center’s $250k Challenge for students.
  • TECHNOLOGY IBM’s Cloud Evangelist and all time leading patent holder Rick Hamilton joins Tumblr and local tech all-stars to look at how cloud computing impacts the daily lives of corporations and consumers, changing the nature of work, communication, and privacy.
  • ENERGY “Alternative” fuels are the new normal, driving a revolution in public attitudes on sustainability. Sandy Reisky, developer of over $1 billion in renewables, joins environmentalists, philanthropists, and inventors in examining this new energy ethic.
  • HEALTH The future of medicine lies beyond hospital walls, with noninvasive therapies, mobile health technology, and better outpatient and preventive care. Entrepreneurs and scientists share resources for health tech upstarts, including NIH funding and private philanthropy.
  • EDUCATION A new entrepreneurial mindset is springing up in school systems across the country. It’s called the Maker Revolution, and it’s about teaching children empowerment through collaborative self-sufficiency and project-based curricula. Educators local and national take stock of this new approach.
  • LAW Virginia and DC are on the leading edge of a revolution in American criminal justice in favor of more humane and affordable sentencing policies. Tom Tom brings together lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as film makers, and police to discuss exoneration as innovation.

The Tom Tom Festival website ( reflects all programming updates.


Founding sponsors:

W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory, or i.Lab at U.Va., located at the Darden School of Business sponsors Entrepreneurship at Tom Tom Founders Festival. The i.Lab is a collaborative effort of 11 schools of the University, the Provost's Office, and U.Va. Innovation and creates a nexus for entrepreneurship and innovation education. The i.Lab provides coaching, courses, and incubation to students, faculty and community members innovating the future.

New Belgium Brewing Company sponsors block parties throughout Downtown during Tom Tom. The makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, New Belgium began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium is model of progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management, and a commitment to environmental stewardship.

R.L. Beyer Custom Homes sponsors Art at Tom Tom Founders Festival. For over 40 years, R.L. Beyer has served Charlottesville and Albemarle with distinguished homes of integrity and beauty. This family run company and its dedicated employees protect and preserve the environment with energy efficient building practices.

Additional sponsors include: Charlottesville Tomorrow, the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at the McIntire School of Commerce, and Wild Wolf Brewing Company.


About Tom Tom Founders Festival

Tom Tom is a nonprofit spring festival of music, art, and innovation in Charlottesville, VA. Talks, concerts, competitions, installations, and parties take over the town with a message of innovation and entrepreneurship. Tom Tom shows that small cities like Charlottesville foster world-class growth, and that there is no better place to launch a business, create great art, and live a good life. The programming is primarily free and connects diverse audiences with the resources to found new ideas.

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