UNA Pressroom

Songwriter Venue Creator Wins Idea Audition

Oct. 22, 2019

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 FLORENCE, AL - Lillian Glanton, a University of North Alabama sophomore from Athens who is majoring in Entertainment Business, received $5,000 for the winning entry in the Idea Audition, an entrepreneurship competition that took place on UNA's campus. Glanton said she plans to open a music venue in Sheffield near the Muscle Shoals Sound building where songwriters can have a creative space to advance their skills. As a songwriter herself, Glanton said it was difficult to find a space for songwriters to gather to write and perform. She plans to use the winnings to purchase a stage as well as sound equipment. The Shoals Idea Audition is an annual event sponsored by Innovation Sponsors Bank Independent and Shoals Economic Development Authority. For six years, the event has taken place under the auspices of Shoals Shift, a creative effort through the Shoals Business Incubator, the University of North Alabama, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce. The event 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. The top-scoring ideas were awarded a $5,000 cash prize, with $2,500 and $1,000 to second- and third-place winners, respectively. The second-place winner was Innovation MAD, a producer of an aeroponic grow system that allows plants to grow and produce faster with less square footage, less water use, and no need for pesticides or herbicides. Shoals Non-Profit Navigation Center took home third place as an organization created to support and amplify the impact of Shoals community nonprofits through professional development, networking and resources, and collective impact programming. More than two dozen competitors presented their ideas to a preliminary round of judges. These presentations were gleaned to six who presented in a final round to judges and an audience of around 200 UNA students and guests. Jay Hayes, an advocate for building a remote work force, was the keynote speaker. He has been programming professionally for more than 10 years, half of which has been completely remote. Through the years, he has developed a deep interest in software design, testing, and teaching. Hayes works at home for Stich Fix, a personal style service. He said remote work is the perfectsituation for him as it allows him to do what he loves while being close to his wife and children. In 2018, Hayes presented a Ted Talk at Tedx: Wilson Park entitled Remotely Production. Shoals Shift, which initially developed the Idea Audition format, has other opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their concepts. Lift Off Shoals is a partnership between the University of North Alabama College of Business, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and the Shoals Business Incubator. Startups are invited to compete for funds in a regional challenge based on the successful statewide Alabama Launchpad challenge, and the winners could receive a share of $25,000. The Launchpad event is scheduled for Feb. 20, with an application deadline of Nov. 26. Details are at www.liftoffshoals.com. About The University of North Alabama The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks