5:30 pm in the Performance Area of the Guillot University Center at the University of North Alabama

2018 Idea Audition.JPG

Platinum Sponsors:

Bank Independent

Shoals Chamber of Commerce

University of North Alabama

Shoals Economic Development Authority

Gold Sponsors:

Bobo Family Group

Party Pros USA

Silver Sponsors:

City of Florence

Bronze Sponsors:

Regions Bank

Spry Law Firm

Alabama Technology Network

Shoals Business Incubator

A Shoals Shift Event

The Shoals Idea Audition, a Shoals Shift event supported by Innovation Sponsor Bank Independent, the Shoals Economic Development Authority, the University of North Alabama, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15. The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. for the contestants with a finals round scheduled for 6:00 p.m. that is open to the public.  It will be held on the 2nd floor of the Guillot University Center on the University of North Alabama campus, and is partially funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The Shoals Idea Audition is a free and open to the public. It is designed to foster new businesses, help entrepreneurs polish their presentations, and introduce community leaders who might be instrumental in helping make their ideas a reality. For the sixth year in a row, hopeful participants will have an opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of area professionals, and the top scoring idea will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize, with $2,500 and $1,000 to second and third-place winners, respectively.

 “We welcome anyone with a great idea for a new or existing product or service to be a part of the competition,” said Mary Marshall VanSant, a founder of the event.  “This is a great way to earn seed money to make it happen, or simply test the viability of your idea.  Plus you’ll have a lot of fun while learning how to promote a start-up.”    

 Last year Balance Birth Center won the event as a pioneer of out-of-hospital birth options for rural communities in Alabama. Their goal is to improve Alabama birth outcomes for mothers and babies with proven evidence-based care using Certified Nurse Midwives.

 “Each year the ideas get better and better,” said VanSant. “On October 15 participants will have three minutes to make their pitch. The panel of judges will be made up of local entrepreneurs who will select finalists for the final round where they will pitch in front of a different panel of judges and a larger audience to determine the winners.” 

 This year’s guest speaker is Darnell Ferguson, owner of the SuperHero Chef group of restaurants. Ferguson struggled throughout high school and was on the verge of failing out, but during his junior year he decided to take courses in Culinary Arts. He was often dubbed as a “Super-Chef” for his culinary greatness and that has carried over to the name of his business venture.