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Bill Crutchfield and Doug Stoup Announced in Founders Summit Lineup

Published on NBC 29

The Tom Tom Founders Festival announced Wednesday its first round of speakers for the 2016 Founders Summit.

The announcement took place at the Crutchfield retail store in Albemarle County.

Polar adventurer Doug Stoup and the founder of Crutchfield, Bill Crutchfield, were the speakers on hand to share their stories.

“What my mission is going to be at Tom Tom is to try to convince young people they should start long term, sustainable businesses. Too many young people want to get rich quick, and they start these businesses, and after a few years they can sell them out and that’s the end of it,” Crutchfield said.

The daylong summit is scheduled to take place at the Paramount Theater on April 15.

The final round of speakers will be announced sometime in February.

Press Release from the Tom Tom Founders Festival:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (January, 27)—Tom Tom Founders Festival announced today the first round of speakers for the 2016 Founders Summit and launched public ticket sales. The Summit explores the personal narratives behind some of the country’s most influential companies, causes, and movements. The Summit is presented in partnership with the i.Lab at UVA.

The day-long Summit will take place on Friday April 15th, 2016 at the Paramount Theater, and will bring together some of the nation’s most renowned innovators for one-of-a-kind talks, panel discussions, and luncheons. This year’s Founders Summit speakers include:

  1. Bill Crutchfield, founder of Crutchfield—Starting from his mother’s basement with a $1,000 in savings, Bill began selling mail order audio equipment in 1974. Bill has built the company into a $250M annual revenue, 500 employee, Charlottesville-based enterprise. The growth was organic, and Crutchfield refused outside investment to retain 100% ownership and remain debt-free. Bill credits this fact for the flexibility that has allowed Crutchfield’s continued innovations and never having a layoff in over four decades. Bill was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame with Amar Bose & Paul Allen in 2006.

  2. Rodney Mullen, 35-time skateboarding World Champion, inventor—Rodney defended his Skateboarding World Champion title for more than a decade, the longest successful run in skateboarding history. The street Ollie, kick-flip, 360-flip, the Impossible, and countless other game-changing tricks evolved from his unique and uniquely effective method of innovation. He is also an inventor and investor, with a deep understanding of the role of passion and creativity in entrepreneurship.

  3. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder of Joyus—Sukhinder is a leading technology executive and entrepreneur. She served as president of Asia Pacific and Latin America at Google, leading an 18 country expansion. Returning to her entrepreneurial roots, she founded Joyus, the leading online video entertainment platform reimagining online shopping. With the goal of accelerating business performance globally through gender diversity, Sukhinder also founded #choosepossibility and theBoardlist, which provides a platform for business leaders to nominate and discover great female candidates for boards.

  4. Craig Dubitsky, founder of eos Lip Balm & Hello Products—Craig obsesses over design and branding, constantly rethinking and elevating everyday products. Craig’s fresh approach to the $30B dental care industry launched his products into 20,000 stores and landed Hello Products on INC. Magazine’s list for Most Audacious Companies. Besides holding 6 patents, Craig has received numerous honors and awards for his design and packaging, being named to Ad Age’s Most Innovative Creative Thinkers and Doers list, and receiving a Red Dot Design Award.

  5. Doug Stoup, founder of Ice Axe Expeditions—Doug is the world’s leading polar adventurer. He has scaled Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, led expeditions through the Amazon, Antarctica, and North Pole and led a deaf and blind adventurer on a 730-mile ski tour through the South Pole. A movie stuntman turned extreme explorer, Doug documents the effects of climate change on his record breaking expeditions.

Tickets Tickets go on sale immediately at the “Early Bird” price of $69. The ticket price will rise with the next round of speaker announcements next month. For tickets and more information, visit

Student Scholars For the first time, a limited number of tickets will be made available completely for free, with the goal of sending motivated, entrepreneurial students to learn from some of the nation’s best and brightest Founders. Scholarships will be determined through a short online application process, available here:


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