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7th Annual Tom Tom – Friday Highlights

by Tom Tom Staff

Friday at Tom Tom


The fifth day of Tom Tom arrives, with our day-long sessions programming of Founding Stories, featuring our 2018 Keynotes sharing their stories of overcoming obstacles and seeing triumph in their ventures. These pair well with our Founders Luncheons; an opportunity to sit down with some of our keynotes and discuss more acutely the issues and topics you share an interest in. We are also looking forward to launching our Block Parties tonight.


An All-Access or Summit Badge grants you access to so many of our great programs. Individual tickets to specific events are fantastic alternatives, if time is not on your side. And, all you need is a complimentary Festival pass to sign up for a Community Workshop!

Thank you for your continued support. We are looking forward to one of our largest programming days of the 7th annual Tom Tom Founders Festival, and having you here with us.

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Founding Story Keynotes


The Paramount Theater, 9AM-5PM – Every Founder has a story to tell. Hear from entrepreneurs and leaders who have harnessed grit, creativity, vision, and purpose to build extraordinary ventures, revolutionize industries and enrich our world. The event will be emceed by the charming and dynamic husband and wife duo Mark Brzezinski (Former Swedish Ambassador) and Natalia Brzezinski (CEO, Symposium Stockholm) who share a passion for how ideas and innovation can create global change. Keynote speakers include:

  1. Zac Bookman (Cofounder and CEO, OpenGov) – Seeing public servants struggle against outdated technology, Mr. Bookman and his cofounder developed a set of tools to empower more open and effective government. Today over 1,800 public agencies in 48 states use his products.

  2. Renee Diresta (Head of Policy, Data for Democracy) – A tech entrepreneur and researcher who the spread of disinformation across social networks.

  1. Steve Huffman (Cofounder and CEO, Reddit) – Huffman launched the “front page of the internet” and fourth most-visited site in the U.S. while still an undergraduate at UVa. Huffman has grown the platform’s community to over 330 million monthly users.

  2. Vince Kadlubek (CEO, Meow Wolf) – Cofounder of Meow Wolf, the exciting immersive art installation in Santa Fe that has attracted attention from around the world.

  3. Shan-Lyn Ma (Founder, Zola) – Launched the fastest growing wedding company in the country that’s reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology.

  4. Bradford and Bryan Manning (Cofounder, Two Blind Brothers) – Diagnosed as children with an illness that would blind them, Bryan and Bradford are determined to inspire others with disability, launching a business to fund a cure for future generations.

  5. Leland Melvin (Astronaut, NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration) – From playing for the Dallas Cowboys to exploring outer space, Leland’s story of perseverance and passion has inspired the next generation of explorers to pursue STEAM careers.

  6. Jigar Shah (President, Generate Capital, Inc.) – Mr. Shah helped launch the clean industry revolution in North America as founder of SunEdison which, at its peak, possessed over $10 billion in energy assets.

  7. Nancy Twine (Founder, Briogeo) – By the time Nancy Twine reached her 30th birthday, she had left a successful career as an executive at Goldman Sachs, launched her own plant-powered beauty line, and become the youngest African-American woman to launch a line for Sephora.

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Founders Luncheons


Various, 12:00PM-1:40PM – The Founders Luncheons are an opportunity to dig into ideas and problems with leaders in your field. Leverage common resources, counter shared challenges, and form deeper bonds with people whose work affects your own.

  1. Taking Back HealthcareCommonwealth Restaurant, featuring Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, and Natassia Rozario

  2. Art, Fantasy, Mystery: Meow Wolf – Presented with WHURK, The Bebedero, featuring Vince Kadlubek

  3. An American StoryHamilton’s, featuring Amy Goldstein, and James Fallows

  1. Founding While Female – Presented with Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Red Pump Kitchen, – featuring Renee Diresta, Alice Handy, and Shan-Lyn Ma

  2. Brands in the Age of Distraction – Presented with WillowTree and StoryWare, Downtown Grille, featuring Darcey Lacey, Lindsey Normant, Magnus Hierta, Zack Bryant, and moderated by Margo Bulka

  3. Reasons to Stay – Cities for Young Founders – Presented with Frederick Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Zocalo, featuring Steven Huffman, Ace Callwood, and moderated by Daniel Wilson

  4. STEAM Ahead: Inclusive Innovation – Presented by Lynchburg Economic Development Authority, Brasserie Saison, featuring Leland Melvin and Dr. Knatokie Ford

  5. The Energy Endgame – Presented with Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance, Downtown Grille, featuring Jigar Shah

  6. Dopesick – Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted AmericaBashir’s, featuring Beth Macy

  7. Community Luncheon Honoring Black America in the Public RealmJefferson Theater, featuring Gayle Jessup White, Brent Leggs, and Bruce McMullen (Free – requires registration at tomtomfest.com/schedule/ )

All Luncheons

Tom Tom Summits


Clean Energy, Violet Crown, 8:00AM-6:00PM – Join a who’s who of renewable energy investors, executives, and policymakers for an incredible day of industry talks and networking focused on the future of the energy revolution. Featured keynotes include:


  1. What’s Next for Energy Policy in Virginia? Violet Crown, 9:00-10:10AM – with Katharine Bond (Executive Director, Dominion Foundation), Hayes Framme (Govt Relations & Communications Manager, Southeast, Orsted), Angela Navarro (Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Office of Governor Northam)

  2. Corporate Demand: Changing the Energy Equation, Violet Crown, 3:00-3:50PM – with George Ashton (President, Sol Systems), Roger Ballentine (President, Green Strategies, Inc), and moderated by JR Tolbert (Vice President, State Legislative Policy, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)

Featured Sessions

  1. Designing Products with Purpose, Welcome Gallery, 10:30-11:40AM

  2. A Better Startup System for Student Founders, Old Metropolitan Hall, 10:30-11:40AM

  3. Master Class: Design the Future You Love, Common House, 10:30-11:40AM

  4. The Founders Who Aren’t: Inclusion in Entrepreneurship, Second Street Gallery, 10:30-11:40AM

  5. After August 12th: Freedom of Speech and Domestic Terror, The Paramount Theater – Balcony Lounge, 10:30-11:40AM

  6. Master Class: The Creative Curve, Common House, 2:00-2:50PM

  7. Get Smart: Beyond the Buzzwords on Open Data, Common House, 2:00-2:50PM

  8. Master Class: The ABCs of Socially Responsible Investing, Second Street Gallery, 2:00-3:10PM

  9. Sex in Public: Gender and Political Office, The Paramount Theater – Balcony Lounge, 2:00-3:10PM

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Free Community Events


Affordable Housing Series, Water Street Center, Various Times – Today, we strive to address the housing needs of Charlottesveille: how much, where, and what timeline are we working with? Leaders of three thriving affordable neighborhoods meet to share their insight. Review case studies on housing needs: materials, landscaping, sizing, and permits. Collectively, they paint a picture of building an affordable neighborhood in Charlottesville. Join Meeting the Need (10:30am), Housing Design(2:00pm), and Needs Assessment (3:30pm) for answers and ideas. Over 30 speakers and companies will come to the tables to speak with attendees and concerned renters and home-owners.

How to Fix Democracy, UVA Lawn, 12:00-4:00PM – Join us for a series of discussions adapted from Richard Just’s article “How to Fix American Democracy – 38 Ideas for Repairing our Badly Broken Civic Life.” Following the discussion sessions, at 2:00 pm will be presentations and question and answer sessions from three keynote speakers.

Tech Mixer, Emancipation Park, 5:00-8:00PM – Get connected. Dozens of tech firms network with each other and recruit talent from across the nation. Join us for this pop-up innovation district in the heart of Tom Tom’s Friday night Block Party where companies and individuals can meet and share ideas.

Block Party


Emancipation Park, 5:00-11:00PM – Our open-air block parties in historic downtown Charlottesville showcase the best in music, art, tech, and local food. Discover Charlottesville with a nonstop concert series spanning all three days, a craft beer garden, tech and art showcases, a food truck rally, and fun for every age.

  1. 5:15 PM Buddha Council (Reggae)

  2. 6:25 PM Amasa Hines (Rock)

  3. 8:00 PM The Broadcast (Classic Rock)

  4. 9:30 PM The Stone Foxes (Rock)

Block Parties

Community Workshops


Handmade Paper UVA Paper Making Studio, 10:00AM-2:00PM

Building a Better CongressBabylon Micro Farms, 10:00AM-12:00PM

Design Thinking for the Greater GoodGuma Gallery, 10:30AM – 12:00PM

Live Illustration with Andrew StrongeTelegraph Art & Comics, 11:00AM-6:00PM

Jewelry Repair & ReinventionMi Ossa, 3:00-5:00PM

Hydroponics: The Future of Food ProductionBabylon Micro Farms, 4:00-6:00PM

All Workshops

Weeklong Events


Farm to Table Restaurant Week, Various Locations, 5:00-11:00pm — Participating restaurants will feature a special dinner menu that features the newly announced Cville Signature Dish, the ham biscuit, alongside seasonal produce and ingredients.

Craft Cocktail Competition, Various Locations, 5:00-11:00pm — Top bartenders create specialty “Tom Tom” cocktails, featuring local spirits and ingredients. Patrons will vote for their favorites throughout the week, and a panel of judges will also crown a winner.

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The Tom Tom Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN: 46-2048771