April 10, 2014
The Tom Tom Founders Festival kicked off with an event supporting local businesses on Wednesday.
Charlottesville's five-day Tom Tom Festival began with Crowd-Funded Pitch Night. Acting like a live Kickstarter, ten local entrepreneurs, artists, and students, from a gluten-free bakery to a mobile car tech-installer, asked for money to start their business or go to the next level.
The audience voted for the winner, who can get support and funding from the UVa Darden School's i.Lab.
"The festival itself is about creativity and starting things in Charlottesville. So, tonight is really the embodiment of showing all the different ways people can be entrepreneurs, get their ideas started, and create something in Charlottesville," said Paul Beyer, the founder and director of the Tom Tom Festival.
The winner of the night was Apprenticeship Connections, which aims to match students with masters of different professions.
The Tom Tom Festival has 60 concerts, 110 speakers, and other events that run through Sunday.