For the past five years, the Tom Tom Founders Festival has brought a week packed full of art, music, and innovation to Charlottesville. The festival brings the community together in celebration of creativity, and the Founders Summit draws some of Charlottesville’s and the nation’s leading visionaries to the Paramount Theater. On a sunny Friday, community members and University students alike gathered at the historic downtown theater to hear stories from successful founders and innovators. Keynote speakers included a 35 time World Skateboarding Champion, the man who discovered Katy Perry, and the designer of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood costumes, among others. Tom Tom’s Founders Summit runs over with inspiration, insight, and innovation every year, and this year was no different.
This year’s Founders Summit took place on the Downtown Mall at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater.
Tom Tom Founders Festival director, Paul Beyer, opened the event and highlighted the importance of innovation, creativity, and community in Charlottesville.
Bill Crutchfield, founder of Crutchfield Corporation, shared the founding story of his now $250 million per year business – a business which began in the basement of his mother’s home.
Michael Lenox, Brendan Richardson, Deb McMahon, Noah Pittard discuss how to build startup ecosystems.
People of all walks of life came together at the Paramount to learn from some of the nation’s most successful founders.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, leader of an 18 country expansion of Google, advised audience members to discover their individual skill sets and to implement those skills to find success.
Summit co-host, Dar Malecki, and founder and CEO of Lava Racords, Jason Flom, addressed the audience following Jason’s thought-provoking talk about the Innocence Project.
UVa School of Architecture graduate Becca McCharen shared details about her big year – designing clothes for Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood music video, becoming a finalist in the Vogue Fashion Fund competition, starring in an Amazon TV show, and being the subject of a documentary about #ActuallySheCan.
Inventor of the ollie and 35 time World Champion Skateboarder, Rodney Mullen, and Becca McCharen sat down with Dar Malecki to talk innovation and creativity.
Arctic explorer and founder of the Ice Axe Foundation, Doug Stoup, shared his experiences of the North and South Poles and advocated for change in behaviors which lead to environmental degradation and global warming.
UVa alum, Sam Rosen, returned to Charlottesville (with his parents on FaceTime), bringing energy, insight, and advice for hopeful entrepreneurs.