The Tom Tom Founders Festival is an annual festival celebrating “music, art, and innovation.” We’re in Charlottesville, Virginia to cover it. Interestingly enough for us here at Take Risks Be Happy, Charlottesville was been named one of the happiest cities in America by a Harvard research paper. This is day one, we’ve also covered day two, day three, and day four.
Here’s a visual diary of day one at Tom Tom:
I arrived at Tom Tom Fest and a band was in full swing.
The mood was bright, with a large collection of free food and a jovial picnic atmosphere.
Held at the IX Art Park, there were a collection of small businesses and families. Tom Tom Fest did a good job of bringing people out.
I stopped by Storystream, which is a converted Airstream that goes around and records stories from people living in or around Charlottesville. They take the best stories, put them on tape, and allow others to hear about people’s lives. Pretty cool!
A collection of the stories you could choose from.
The stories were played on tape players. This didn’t actually do anything to improve the sound quality, but it was cool in a hipster sort of way.
There was a menu of different stories to listen to. One was a touching story of a man who played Carolina in My Mind on a beach. A couple nearby heard it, and they got emotional. It turned out that the man had only one week to live and that was his favorite song. His wife told the musician, “don’t ever let anyone tell you that your music doesn’t make a difference.”
I was taking too many photos, so a photo war happened.
Tom Tom Founders Festival founder Paul Beyer introducing the pitch round where a collection of 10 local entrepreneurs share their business idea. The best idea as voted by the crowd wins some startup money and mentorship from Tom Tom Fest.
1 Degree, an app that connects influencers and people willing to pay to FaceTime with them, went first. They also ended up winning first prize. Beyond Fitness, the second entrepreneur to pitch, also had a great presentation.
Entrepreneurs continued to pitch as day turned to night–most of the crowd stayed to watch it all!
Day One at the Tom Tom Fest went well! Stay tuned for day two and more coverage!