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Tom Tom Founders Festival Concludes Most Successful Year To Date

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (April 17, 2017) – The sixth annual Tom Tom Founders Festival ended its most successful year to date. Over the week of April 10-16, over 110 events drew 44,925 attendees. Event organizers estimate that figure reflects 18,280 unique attendees.

The festival’s prevailing theme of Charlottesville as America’s Founding City was referenced throughout the week, by Mayor Mike Signer who read a proclamation at Wednesday’s Future Forum declaring the city as such, to Senator Mark Warner who recognized the extraordinary opportunity in Charlottesville (video). In addition to highlighting dozens of competitors, startups, and exhibitors, the Festival also hosted the launch the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance, a new coalition of eight renewable energy companies in the region that have collectively developed over $6.54 billion of renewables, responsible for more than 2,700 megawatts of clean energy generation.

“For a week, we have celebrated local founders and invited the nation to see all that is going on in Charlottesville,” commented Festival Director Paul Beyer. “It is a week where we can highlight the national and global thought-leadership present here in Charlottesville, the revolutionary entrepreneurship, and lay claim to an identity for Charlottesville as a leading-edge city. Most importantly, as displayed in events like our Community Picnic, our Crowdfunded Pitch night, or the Hometown Summit, the themes of inclusive entrepreneurship and expansive community collaboration are shown as vital pieces of the conversation about the region’s future.”

Highlights to the week included hosting 334 speakers from 70 American cities. Tom Tom’s 2017 attendance marks a 18% increase from 2016, when the Festival hosted 38,200 attendees.  From its inception in 2012 with 6,700 attendees, Tom Tom has grown 630%.

2017 Numbers:

55 participating competitors — entrepreneurs, students, non-profits, artists, chefs, & mixologists

67 bands and performers on Tom Tom stages.

140 financial and collaborating sponsors

155 vendors and exhibitors

334 speakers from 70 cities at talks, panels, workshops, and Summits

418 participating organizations, nonprofits, projects and initiatives

5,264 ticket and badge holders

$58,386 in grants, prizes, and fundraisers at the Festival

44,925 Programmatic Attendance, 18,280 Unique Visitors

For a full recap, please visit:

For best-of photography, please visit:

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The Tom Tom Foundation is the nonprofit organization that hosts the annual Tom Tom Founders Festival. Supporting high-impact events throughout the year, the Foundation seeks to empower the innovators whose creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to community help ensure a better future for us all. Now in its sixth year, the action-packed Founders Festival is held during the week of April 13 (hometown hero Thomas Jefferson’s birthday) in Charlottesville, VA. Learn more:


The Tom Tom Founders Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, American Evolution, the Quantitative Foundation, and the i.Lab at UVA. It is also generously underwritten by a number of leading organizations, including the University of Virginia, Ting, C-Ville Weekly, New Belgium Brewing Company, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Charlottesville, Galant Center for Entrepreneurship, the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.


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