Award-winning designer and author; top communications strategist and corporate social responsibility expert; music executive and champion of millennial entrepreneurs to join the roster

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Tom Tom Founders Festival announced today three additional keynote speakers for the 2017 Founders Summit. The third annual summit assembles the nation’s most influential innovators for three powerful days of transformative talks, workshops, and socials. The conference takes place April 13–15th, with a full day of talks on Friday, April 14th at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA.


Justin Ahrens, founder, Rule29

Recognized as one of Chicago’s top creative agencies, Rule29 has received a Graphic Design USA award for 17 consecutive years. At the helm is principal and creative director Justin Ahrens. Justin speaks the languages of both business and design, guiding Rule29’s strategic and creative direction for clients ranging from Fortune 500 brands to nonprofits to small startup companies. Committed to social causes, Justin has raised awareness and funds for communities in Africa with his nonprofit, Wheels4Water. His passion for life is rooted in his creative firm’s commitment to “making creative matter®” as well as helping others think differently about the world.


Susan McPherson, founder, McPherson Strategies

A nationally recognized cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert, Susan McPherson helps clients including Intel, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and JCPenney amplify their reach and social impact. Her #CSRchats are bi-weekly Twitter conversations focused on corporate responsibility that garner anywhere from two to five million impressions per chat. She has been named Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, Elle Magazine’s Top 25 Women on Twitter and Fast Company’s 25 Smartest Women of Twitter. Susan invests in and advises women-led technology start-ups including Girls Who Code and serves on the Boards of USA for UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) and Girl Rising.

Mike Muse, cofounder, Muse Recordings

Leading conversations around the nation on the business of music, pop culture, and its intersection with politics, Mike Muse uses his platform to create social change. The Small Business Association named Mike, SBA Millennial Entrepreneurs Champion, to lead President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Mike hosts nationwide events for young men of color to gain hands-on experience in music, film, fashion, and sports. Recent events include a Youth Summit at the Grammy Museum and Careers in Film Summit at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As an industrial engineer turned media mogul, Mike has secured deals for Muse Recordings with the NFL, NBA, Chrysler and Starbucks. He is a regular commentator on pop culture and politics on the highest-rated urban radio stations in the country, including Sirius XM Satellite Radio, on which he hosts a feature segment titled “Political News with Mike Muse.” Muse serves on President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee and was recently appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve on the Board of Advisors for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.



Presale tickets are available online at the exclusive discounted price of $49. On December 7th, the price increases to $69. Student tickets are are $29. For tickets and more information, visit





In its third year, the Founders Summit is three powerful days of transformative talks, workshops and mixers with the nation’s top entrepreneurs and influencers at the historic Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. April 13-15, 2017

For more information, visit