At 2017 Kickoff Event, Tom Tom Founders Festival Recognizes Outstanding Virginia-based Sponsors, Highlights Festival’s Growing Roster of National-level Events
Six-year-old festival of innovation garners renewed support from University of Virginia partners; emerging national profile earns its selection as signature event by Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration
Charlottesville, VA—The Tom Tom Founders Festival, a one-of-a-kind weeklong celebration of the power of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community, convened friends and key stakeholders at Charlottesville’s Old Metropolitan Hall to acknowledge the critical contributions of its Virginia-based partners and discuss the growing national relevance of its wide-ranging innovation-focused programming.
“We are incredibly grateful to our state and local sponsors not only for their generous financial support, but also for their unwavering commitment to the Festival’s belief that great ideas, enacted, can help make the Charlottesville community—and communities around the country—centers of positivity, progress, and empowerment,” said Festival founder and director Paul Beyer. “Tom Tom is honored to continue its partnership with the University of Virginia’s Batten Institute for entrepreneurship and innovation at the Darden School of Business, as well as to have been chosen by the 2019 Commemoration as one of a select group of Virginia events worthy of national promotion.”
The 2019 Commemoration—the Commonwealth-designated organization dedicated to promoting 400 years of Virginia’s contributions to the core American ideals of democracy, diversity, and opportunity—is a Founding Partner of the Tom Tom Festival, as are the i.Lab, a UVA-wide resource advancing innovation and entrepreneurship, and Charlottesville, VA-based philanthropic group, Quantitative Foundation.
Beyer said the support of Tom Tom’s more than 50 outstanding partners, at all levels, has been critical to the Festival’s remarkable regional success (in five years, Festival attendance has more than quadrupled, surpassing 38,000 in 2016) and continued ascent to national prominence.
“Thanks to the support of our partners throughout the community, region, and state, the 2017 Tom Tom Founders Festival, to be held this April 10-16, promises to offer our best-yet display of the incredible power of innovation at all levels—not only in business and technology, but also in local food, music, art and leadership,” Beyer said.
National Summits, National Audience
This year’s Festival will feature three high-impact summits featuring leading change-makers from throughout the country:
In keeping with tradition, the 2017 Festival will also feature an array of locally oriented events designed to showcase the strength, vibrancy and diversity of the Charlottesville community, as well as to ignite the creative potential of communities across the country. This year’s events include:
“The 2019 Commemoration is pleased to partner with Tom Tom Founders Festival,” said 2019 Commemoration Executive Director Kathy Spangler. “The Commemoration will promote democracy, diversity and opportunity, themes which were forged in 1619 Virginia and have been shaping America ever since. We look forward to working with the Tom Tom Founders Festival to amplify 400 years of Virginia entrepreneurship and innovation as part of the American Evolution signature events over the next three years.”
“The Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business is pleased to partner with the Tom Tom Founders Festival to bring together world-class thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to the Charlottesville and UVA communities,” said Erika Herz, Director of Research and Intellectual Capital at the Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business. “Innovation often occurs at the intersection of ideas, disciplines and viewpoints, and we look forward to working with the Tom Tom Festival to foster creativity and knowledge creation around entrepreneurship and innovation. Tom Tom’s impressive growth and national reach reflect its unique and highly compelling impact, and we look forward to another outstanding year working together.”