2nd Annual

Future Forum

The City’s most visionary leaders explore
the future of Charlottesville

Presented in Partnership with


Wed. April 12

6PM – Happy Hour & Mixer
7PM – Presentations

Paramount Theater


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For anyone passionate about the Future of Charlottesville—its economy, culture, and community—this forum is for you.

The region’s most visionary leaders share what they see for the future of the city and how to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship for the decades to come.



Mike Signer: America’s Founding City

Nikki Hastings, PH.D: Charlottesville as BioTech Hub

Wendy Brown: Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Sarad Davenport: Equity and Opportunity

Rick Shannon: Medical Innovations

Brian Wheeler: The Future of Hyper-Local News

Lynn Easton: Charlottesville as Lifestyle Destination

Ludwig Kuttner: Creativity and the Soul of the City


Highlights from 2016

More than 80 firms and organizations participated, sharing milestones from the previous year…

• Over $2.2B in Mergers and Acquisitions

• Fastest Growing Venture Capital destination in the nation

• Record breaking attendance and participation at Festivals

• Accolades for some of the top educational systems in the nation


America’s Founding City

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, investor, artist, parent, student, or downtown worker, tonight’s discussion is about the opportunities facing Charlottesville to continue growing as a destination for culture and entrepreneurship.

Charlottesville is teeming with great ideas and great successes, and those should define our narrative. We are not a founding city just because of our history, but because there is so much active founding taking place. Tonight’s discussion helps surface and celebrate some of these key leaders. Ultimately, the conversations started here will continue to shape Charlottesville and Albemarle County in the years to come.
Paul Beyer, Festival Director


How youth entrepreneurship will shape our City

Pam Moran
Superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools


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The importance of supporting our creators

Hunter Smith
Founder, Champion Brewing Company


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Arts as an economic and cultural driver

Jody Kielbasa
Vice Provost for the Arts, UVA

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Requirements for a successful startup ecosystem

Brendan Richardson
Cofounder, PsiKick

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Balancing the many needs of a small city

Mike Signer
Mayor, City of Charlottesville

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What attracts tech companies to a city

Michael Prichard
Founder, WillowTree

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The impact of UVA research on the local economy

Pam Norris
Executive Associate Dean for Research, UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science

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