National conference for small city leaders will bring hundreds to Charlottesville, VA this April 13-15

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (December 5, 2016) The Tom Tom Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering diverse entrepreneurship in small cities, is excited to announce the first-ever Hometown Summit, a bipartisan conference for visionary leaders in small and mid-sized metros. The Summit will be held April 13-15, 2017 in Charlottesville, VA as part of the sprawling, week-long Tom Tom Founders Festival, which last year drew 38,000 in attendance and has distributed over $2.8 million to student and community ventures.

“There’s a great logic to Charlottesville, the cradle of American democracy, hosting this national conversation about cities piloting their own destinies,” says Jim Cheng, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and co-founder of the investor circle CAV Angels. “I’m excited for the fresh perspectives and inspiration that this initiative will bring to the Commonwealth.”

Featuring three packed days of keynote speeches, interactive workshops, and social events, the Hometown Summit showcases small cities as innovation labs of the new economy. It will offer hundreds of local leaders an opportunity to craft solutions in partnership with their peers in national media, government, and advocacy. Badges start at $250 and are available for purchase on the Hometown Summit website:

“Communities like Charlottesville are where economic and cultural opportunity exists for much of the US,” says Tom Tom Founders Festival Executive Director Paul Beyer. “Over 93 million Americans live in metros with less than 1 million residents, and the impact of cities like ours extends far into surrounding rural areas. This event is about improving the exchange of ideas among national and local leaders, so that mayors, investors, and advocates on the ground can help their cities thrive in this new era of tech-driven disruption.”

Featured communities include Akron, Asheville, Boulder, Charleston, Chattanooga, Durham, Erie, Harrisburg, Knoxville, Madison, Syracuse, and others. Participating organizations include New America, the Kauffman Foundation, Slate Magazine, Harvard Kennedy School, the Aspen Institute, the Knight Foundation, Johns Hopkins, and more. A full list of the 60+ conference presenters to date can be found online:

“I’m delighted that Charlottesville will be hosting this visionary gathering,” says Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer. “We’re already a creative, dynamic, world-class city, but we still have lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to making new friends and gathering new ideas.”

About the Tom Tom Foundation and Tom Tom Founders Festival

Inspired by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, the Tom Tom Foundation empowers entrepreneurs in business, the arts, and public life to create and grow in small cities. Now in its sixth year, the Foundation hosts a weeklong Founders Festival every April in Charlottesville, VA. The Festival extends to over 50 venues with concerts, art performances, a farm-to-table restaurant week, keynotes from America’s leading startups, and much more. Further information available at