CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (March 24, 2016) – Tom Tom Founders Festival announced an initiative today that allows each Founders Summit ticket­holder to send a free ticket to a woman entrepreneur. The 2nd Annual Tom Tom Founders Summit is committed to changing the ratio of women in business, tech, art, and entrepreneurship.

According to the White House, 29% of all U.S. business owners are women, yet on average women start their business with half as much capital as men. Only 3% percent of venture capitalists are women (yet women make up over 80% of U.S. purchasing power), and leadership of companies remains imbalanced. Women make up only 14.6% of executive officers, 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 16.9% of Fortune 500 board seats,

“Women are changing the environment in today’s business,” commented Celia Castleman, Project Manager of the Tom Tom Founders Festival. “Tom Tom is committed to inclusion and gender diversity and we want to make the Summit accessible to current and future female entrepreneurs. This is a terrific opportunity to learn from those that have paved the way as well as make connections with mentors and resources.”

Current ticketholders can send a free ticket to a woman entrepreneur at: https://tomtomfest.com/lean­in/

WOMEN FOUNDERS AT THE FOUNDERS SUMMIT

Tom Tom is also announcing the Summit’s MCs: Valerie Morini and Dar Malecki. They are co­owners and operators of MADabolic Cville, MADabolic Charleston, and the new Charlottesville based b:core methods barre and core studio. In the past four years, Valerie and Dar have taken Charlottesville, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina by storm with their niche fitness studios and their strong community following. Winning numerous awards and accolades, including Cville Weekly’s Best Niche Gym award each year of operation, they’ve impacted thousands of local clients through their business and community ventures.

There are more than 15 female participants who will be speaking at the Founders Summit and panels, including:

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder of Joyus and theBoardlist—Cassidy has received a

number of honors including being named one of Forbes (2014) “Power Women”, named one of “The Silicon Valley 100” by Business Insider (2012), on Ad Age list of “Women to Watch” (2010),, Fortune’s “Tech’s next­gen leaders”, and featured on the cover of the annual Most Powerful Women Magazine edition (2008).

Becca McCharen, CEO and Founder of CHROMAT—Becca McCharen works with Intel and Misfit to to redefine wearable tech and fashion. CHROMAT is a designer line that is worn by powerful and bold women all over the world, including Beyoncé,

Madonna, FKA Twigs, Tyra Banks, Ellie Goulding, Taylor Swift, Ronda Rousey, Azealia

Banks, and Nicki Minaj.

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. 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.

General Founders Summit tickets are available for $89 before prices increase on April 1. Students may be eligible to get a free ticket by being a Tom Tom Scholar, which are reviewed and decided upon on rolling basis. General student tickets are $25.

Current ticketholders can send a free ticket to a woman entrepreneur at:

https://tomtomfest.com/lean­in/

To buy tickets and read more about the program, please visit:

https://tomtomfest.com/founders­summit/ and https://tomtomfest.com/scholars/