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Watch: Founders Summit Speakers Announced

Published on The Daily Progress

This year’s Tom Tom Founders Summit will feature an interesting cast of speakers from both the local and global leadership scenes.

On Wednesday, the Tom Tom Founders Festival revealed the first round of speakers for the 2016 Founders Summit, in partnership with the i.Lab at the University of Virginia. The daylong event will take place April 15, in the middle of the festival, and will feature entrepreneurs, athletes and innovators to participate in talks, panel discussions and luncheons, according to festival founder and director Paul Beyer.

“This is an exciting announcement and we’re so thrilled to have such preeminent folks that are working, traveling globally, and local folks who have had global impacts,” Beyer said Wednesday.

Among the speakers at this year’s summit is Bill Crutchfield, the founder of Crutchfield Corp. in Albemarle County. Refusing outside investment since beginning with $1,000 in 1974, Crutchfield said he hopes to teach people how to cultivate a business idea into a career.

“My mission at Tom Tom will be impressing on these young people to start a business for keeps, to stick with it for their career,” Crutchfield said. “Hopefully, it can grow into something like [Crutchfield] that not only serves their best interests, but more importantly serves the best interests of all of the stakeholders.”

Doug Stoup, a movie-stuntman-turned-Arctic explorer from California, will share his experience leading expeditions through the Amazon and the North and South poles. Stoup founded Ice Axe Expeditions and now takes people on ski trips to remote parts of the planet while documenting the effects of climate change.

At the summit, Stoup said he wants to instill a sense of adventure in the audience while promoting the importance of researching climate change and trying to reverse the situation.

“I think my message at the festival will be to dream big and dare to fail,” said Stoup. “You can do anything you want to do if you put time and effort into it.”

Additional speakers at the summit will include Rodney Mullen, skateboarding world champion and inventor; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, the former president of Asia Pacific and Latin America at Google and the founder of Joyus, an online video entertainment platform; and Craig Dubitsky, the founder of eos lip balm.

Tickets are on sale now for the Tom Tom Founders Summit. The early bird price is $69. That will increase when more speakers are announced next month. A limited number of free student tickets also will be available through an online application process.

The fifth annual Founders Festival will be held April 11 to 17 in Charlottesville. The event will include concerts, talks, competitions and public art. Last year, the festival attracted 26,200 attendees.

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