CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (February, 25)—Tom Tom Founders Festival announced today the second round of speakers for the 2016 Founders Summit. The Summit, presented in partnership with the i.Lab at UVA, explores the founding stories behind some of the country’s most influential companies, causes, and movements. 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.

Ticket prices will rise Friday at midnight, online at .

Summit Speakers:

Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor at Slate Magazine —an award winning author and journalist, Lithwick writes the Supreme Court Dispatches and Jurisprudence columns. Her diverse reporting covers  topics ranging from corporate litigation to criminal justice reform. In 2013, she won a National Magazine Award for her columns on the Affordable Care Act. Lithwick is the host of the podcast Amicus. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Elle, Harper’s, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, The Colbert Report, and is a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Sam Rosen, founder and CEO of MakeSpace—Rosen developed the concept for MakeSpace after confronting the pains of traditional self-storage in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. His next-generation consumer storage solutions threaten to make “self storage the next blockbuster video,” and this week MakeSpace announced an additional $17.5M venture round. A Forbes’ “30 Under 30” honoree (2015 consumer tech), Sam was also Upfront Ventures’ first Entrepreneur in Residence.

Brendan Richardson, cofounder & CEO of PsiKickan ex-Silicon Valley VC, Richardson partnered with UVA Engineering professor Dr. Benton Calhoun and Michigan Engineering Professor, Dr. David Wentzloff to launch this pioneering wireless, self-powered systems company based on Calhoun’s and Wentzloff’s groundbreaking research. PsiKick seeks to make computing battery-free and unlock the future of the Internet of Things. PsiKick just completed a $17M Series B with New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Osage University Partners.

Deb McMahon, cofounder and CEO of Scitentthis early leader in the eLearning industry has trained over 3.5  million medical professionals through its 20 year history in subjects from cardiovascular care to thoracic surgery. McMahon applies more than 20 years in education to help organizations develop their eLearning business.  McMahon is committed to business and entrepreneurial initiatives in Charlottesville. She is active in the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) where she currently serves as a member of the Membership Committee. She received the 2015 Charlottesville Business Innovation Council Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Mike Signer, Mayor of Charlottesville

Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade

Mike Lenox, Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business

Christine Mahoney, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Politics

Aaron Fein, Tom Tom Artist-in-Residence, White Flags

Seth Casana, Editor-in-Chief of Whurk

Brandon Garrett, UVA Law Professor & Author

Mickael Broth, artist and writer

Kristen Suokko, Executive Director of Local Food Hub

Chip Harding, Sheriff of Albemarle County

Sarad Davenport, Executive Director of City of Promise

Jeanette AbiNader, Executive Director of City Schoolyard Garden

Brooke Ray, New Roots Program Manager of International Rescue Committee

Todd Neimeier, Operations Director of Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville

Larry Wilder, Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Conaway Haskins, Executive Director, Virginia Community Economic Network


Tickets are now on sale at the “Early Bird” price of $69. This price ends Friday 2/26 at midnight, when tickets will rise at midnight to $79.  For tickets and more information, visit

Student Scholars Expansion

For the first time, 100 scholarships will be made available to enable motivated, entrepreneurial students to be inspired by some of the nation’s best and brightest founders. Scholarships will be determined through an online application process: