Shoals Big Idea Competition Fosters Technology Entrepreneurship

The University of North Alabama, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, local schools and the mayor’s offices sponsored the inaugural Shoals Big Idea Competition, open to middle school and high school students, university students and community members. 

Forty-three ideas from 39 individuals were submitted, each with the goal of moving the Shoals toward becoming the next leader in digital technology. Finalists presented their ideas to a public audience on March 11 in the Guillot Center.

“The Shoals can thrive as a technology hub in the South. We need a supportive technology infrastructure and we need new ideas from the community  - Kerry DeLay McCane, President and CEO of IP Watch, an intellectual property management technology company founded in Florence. 

One first place finalist in each of the three categories - Middle School/High School, College and Community - was awarded $500 cash to move their innovation forward. An additional single winner was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend UNA for the Fall 2015 semester.

“UNA is excited to be a sponsor of this critically important and exciting competition. Great ideas are generated by events such as this, and it will be exciting to see how these ideas develop into opportunities for innovation in The Shoals. - Dean Greg Carnes

Learn more about this exciting new competition at For more information, contact Dr.Santanu Borah at 256-765-4605 or