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Tom Tom Innovation Series

 

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Charlottesville Tomorrow is proud to be a media partner for the 2012 Tom Tom Founders Festival Innovation Series.  During April-May we will be podcasting and reporting on Tom Tom's free talks about place-based innovation in our community.  We invite you to join the conversation in our main news center and on this new area of our website devoted to Tom Tom.

| Tom Tom Innovation home | Tom Tom schedule of events | RSS feed for this content |

May 15, 2012

Tom Tom Festival hosts a Locavore Expo and panel discussion

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20120512-TTFF-Locavore4Locavore expo puts spotlight on area’s local farmers and food innovators

The Charlottesville City Market was bigger than ever Saturday morning — literally. As part of the Tom Tom Founders Festival, the market area was expanded for a Locavore Expo to celebrate and educate the community about local food.

Expo organizer Natasha Sienitsky, a member of the Charlottesville Planning Commission, said local food complimented the festival’s innovation program.

“I think it’s a natural fit for the innovation series because it’s an area that our community has been particularly innovative in,” said Sienitsky. “It’s something there is clearly passion for in the community.”

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

May 11, 2012

Final Tom Tom innovation panelists say this is a special place for startups

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20120511-TomTom2bLeaders say unique qualities of Charlottesville-Albemarle make it a special place for start-up companies

As one of almost 60 bands in the Tom Tom Founders Festival was setting up its equipment on the stage at The Haven, Oliver Platts-Mills was busy getting the ironing board in place for the pre-concert activities.

The improvised green ironing board table and stuffed animal buffalo mascot have become fixtures of the festival’s panel discussions on innovation.

“The idea behind this series is to look at the ongoing innovation in Charlottesville and the future of innovation in Charlottesville,” said Platts-Mills, a Tom Tom co-founder. “When we talk about ‘place-based innovation,’ we are specifically talking about how Charlottesville as a place affects the type of innovation that’s happening.”

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

May 10, 2012

Fourth Tom Tom innovation panel focuses on social media, mobile

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20120509-TomTom2Social media and mobile web developers share insights on their growing businesses

The Tom Tom Founders Festival held the fourth in a series of weekly place-based innovation talks Wednesday with a panel discussion examining how businesses are incorporating social media and mobile software applications into many facets of their work.

Local experts described how they are growing their businesses in Charlottesville as they help other companies implement their marketing and digital plans.

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

May 04, 2012

Over 100 people pack The Gleason for Tom Tom's crowd sourced pitch night

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20120503-TTFF-crowdCity catering business wins top prize at innovation pitch night

In an evening full of new ideas, more than 100 people cast their votes and Sandra Carter and her Sixth Street Mini Mart Catering business were named the winner of the first Tom Tom Founders Festival’s “crowd sourced pitch night.”

“I am on a crusade to resurrect my sister’s catering business to see her dream manifested into an establishment that is loved, respected and appreciated among generations to come,” Carter told the audience at the Thursday event. “My sister Denise was an amazing woman who was loved by so many people for her heart and food.”

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the complete Pitch Night podcast

May 03, 2012

Third Tom Tom innovation panel focuses on biotech startups

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20120502-TomTom-IS3ABiotech leaders say their industry is primed for growth around university

On one side of town, advocates for limiting local population growth told the Albemarle supervisors a new study recommending industries targeted for economic growth was flawed. In part, they said, because new businesses would seek to retain in the community students graduating from the University of Virginia.

Later that evening in the city of Charlottesville, a mix of local officials, investors, innovators and start-up incubators gathered to talk about the work that’s already happening to grow the area’s biotech sector.

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

April 26, 2012

Second Tom Tom innovation panel focuses on sustainability

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20120425-TomTom-IS2CSustainability innovations shared on local food, buildings, and autos

The Tom Tom Founders Festival continued its series of weekly innovation talks Wednesday with a panel discussion examining Charlottesville-based entrepreneurs working in the field of sustainability and sustainable design.

“My interest was to bring a conversation around innovation to Charlottesville,” said Tom Tom co-founder Oliver Platts-Mills.  “It is stylized after SXSW in Austin.”

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

 

April 19, 2012

Tom Tom Festival holds first of its innovation panels

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20120418-TomTom-IS1BSocial entrepreneurs share their innovative community building projects

The Tom Tom Founders Festival launched a series of weekly innovation talks Wednesday with a panel discussion examining “social entrepreneurs,” local people starting projects focused on social change.

The first panel brought together “social entrepreneurs” from the Community Investment Collaborative, the Piedmont Housing Alliance and the Charlottesville Institute.

Read Charlottesville Tomorrow's coverage and get access to the podcast

 

April 16, 2012

Tom Tom Founders Festival block party

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April 12, 2012

An interview with Oliver Platts-Mills, the Tom Tom Founders Festival innovation director

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20120411-Platts-Mills_OliveAn interview with Oliver Platts-Mills, co-founder of the Tom Tom Founders Festival.  Conducted April 11, 2012 by Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Brian Wheeler.

[see companion news story]

Q. Give us the Oliver Platts-Mills 101

A. I was born in England and moved here when I was 3 years old.  My father took a faculty position at the University [of Virginia], he’s a doctor, professor in the med school.  So I’m a county resident, or I was a county resident, at that time--Meriwether Lewis, Henley [Middle School], Western Albemarle High School. 

I decided to leave Charlottesville and went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut because Charlottesville is still, but then, felt like a small town where I would end up knowing everyone and run into my parents if I went to UVA, so I had to get out.  I stayed away for about 8 years and moved back here with Natasha [Sienitsky] who is now my wife, and we came back on the premise of going to graduate school.  I took some classes to get into graduate school and we both went to graduate school around the same time. I went into systems engineering at UVA for my masters.

Q. Tell us about your employment after you graduated from college?

A. I was very interested in environmental issues going in to graduate school, and more than that just wanted to think about how the world was changing with respect to energy. So this was what got me into graduate school and as I came out, I had moved away from that a little bit but was fascinated by how there was a differentiator in the world about those who understood how money worked and those who didn’t.  I could see that there as a great value in sort of getting into that game, so I was looking for a job that would expose me to the financial world of investments. 

[Platts-Mills is now an analyst at an investment firm in Charlottesville]

Q. What is your role in the Tom Tom Founders Festival?

Continue reading "An interview with Oliver Platts-Mills, the Tom Tom Founders Festival innovation director" »