Found Yourself. Launch businesses and discover new ideas alongside some of the world's most innovative founders and funders. In 2016, Tom Tom is expanding its innovation programming to include several pitch competitions, luncheons with influential entrepreneurs, product demos, an alumni mixer, and the second Founders Summit.

Founders Summit

A day of creativity and entrepreneurship with today’s most innovative founders. Prominent entrepreneurs and creatives will share their insider guidance on how to make startups grow. Tickets launching soon.

Learn about this year’s Summit

Founders Luncheons

The Founders Luncheons are an opportunity for Founders Summit attendees to dig into specific ideas and problems with the Summit’s speakers, known thought leaders, and each other.

Crowdfunded Pitch Night

Ten local artists, entrepreneurs, and inventors compete for funding and a coveted spot in Darden’s Innovation Laboratory. Each innovator tries to win over the crowd, which votes to select the winner.

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Innovation Competitions

Since 2013, $1.2 million in investment and grants have been distributed through Tom Tom’s competitions. This year, up to $1 million will be given to startups during Tom Tom’s partnered competitions. Applications are open now.

E Cup

Greater than $50,000 in seed money and in-kind resources will be awarded to the most compelling University of Virginia student ventures.

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Super Demo

Modeled after Y Combinator’s famous demo days, select groups from more than 10 schools across the East Coast presented projects in tech and entrepreneurship.

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Galant Challenge

U.Va. students and alumni join investors from across the region for the largest pitch competition at Tom Tom, with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line.

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Social Innovation Night

In partnership with the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and Social Entrepreneurship at U.Va. The most innovative regional non-profits receive grants totaling $50,000.

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Innovator of the year

The highest honor bestowed on University of Virginia innovators, the Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the year award was awarded, for the first time, to two recipients: 2015 winners are Benton Calhoun and James Smith.


This annual gathering brought back together a nationwide network of entrepreneurial U.Va. alumni and students for an evening of drinks and conversation at Old Metropolitan Hall.

CIC Showcase

Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) hosted a showcase where attendees met some of the newest home-grown Charlottesville area businesses and found out how to help the next group of entrepreneurs building our community.

Learn about this year’s Festival

Founding Partners