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Tom Tom Founders Festival Announces Headliners for Spring Event

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Tom Tom Founders Festival Press Release:

The 4th Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival today announced the keynote speakers of its first ever Founders Summit. The Founders Summit is a daylong, ticketed series of talks, gathering entrepreneurs from across the nation to the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville on Friday, April 17th. The unique format of the Summit mixes the first person narratives of revolutionary founders with panels that place their work in the context of urgent national conversations.

Two hundred tickets go on sale today at a limited time presale price of $35 for Tom Tom email subscribers. Beginning February 1st, tickets will be available both online at and in person at The Paramount Theater’s box office at a $45 early bird price.



Alexis Ohanian, cofounder and now Executive Chair of Reddit, a website that gets more than 6 billion pageviews per month, dwarfing The New York Times. Ohanian is a partner at Y Combinator, “Silicon Valley’s startup machine,” and a noted champion of net neutrality. He hosts ​Small Empires for The Verge, a series that examines big ideas coming from unlikely places, and is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller ​Without Their Permission. This thirty-one year old U.Va. grad might even be ​”solving the United States’ innovation crisis”.

Kip Tindell, founder of The Container Store, which generates $800 million in annual revenue on a dizzying array of storage products. The company pays its sales associates an industry-defying average salary of $50,000 and Tindell has become a pivotal figure in the national conversation about economic inclusion, challenging companies across the US to offer service workers middle class compensation as the incoming chairman of the National Retail Federation, an organization that has historically opposed increasing the minimum wage.

Dave Frey, founder of the Lockn’ Music Festival, which has brought artists such as Neil Young and Wilco to Charlottesville’s backyard. Frey is also the cofounder of Silent Partner Management, which steers The Ramones estate, and cofounder of the legendary H.O.R.D.E. Fest, a touring jamathon that ruled the 90s summer circuit.

Becca McCharen, founder of avant-garde fashion line CHROMAT. The U.Va. Architecture grad is a Forbes ​30 under 30 pick for “People Who are Reinventing the World in 2014”. “Beyoncé scores her best looks from this obscure Brooklyn designer”, and McCharen’s client list also includes Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Nicky Minaj.

Dale Dougherty, founder and CEO of Make Magazine and Maker Faire, cofounder of O’Reilly Media, ​TED presenter, and ​White House guest. Dougherty is restoring America’s identity as a country of garage workshop geniuses, working with STEM in K-12 education. Fun fact: he coined the term “Web 2.0,”



The Founders Summit will bring dozens of other renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors to the stage for panels such as, “Teaching Tomorrow’s Founders” and “Conscious Capitalism.” Throughout the day, in between talks and panels, the state’s most promising startups will pitch their ideas to the audience, part of the Best of Virginia Early Stage Venture Showcase. The day will conclude with the Galant Challenge, where U.Va. students and alumni publically showcase their ideas to investors. Last year, contestants raised over half a million dollars for their businesses. Stay tuned for further announcements of programming partnerships with the Darden School of Business, the Miller Center of Public Affairs, and more.


ABOUT TOM TOM FOUNDERS FESTIVAL Tom Tom Founders Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit that hosts dozens of free events every year in Charlottesville, VA. Its mission is to celebrate and empower founders, visionaries who build creative, civic, and entrepreneurial ventures. In 2014, Tom Tom had attendance of over 22,600, showcased 381 community organizations, and had an economic impact of $843,000 on the community of Charlottesville.


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