UNA Pressroom

Lift Off Shoals Awards Prize Money To Two Local Innovators

Mar. 02, 2020

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

FLORENCE, AL - Modeled after the Alabama Launchpad contest, Lift Off Shoals is an annual idea competition designed to help new and existing businesses start up successfully and launch into a high-growth market. Lift Off Shoals had its first event of 2020 at the Connie D. McKinney Center, and two local innovators took home prize money.

Innovation Mad won $20,000 for its aeroponic farming system. Muscle Shoals Song Rooms was awarded $5,000 for its creation of a shared songwriting space in Sheffield. The contestants are judged based on idea pitches, a detailed business plan, and an explanation of how the idea can benefit the Shoals economy and ecosystem.

"We initially had six companies apply to be part of this inaugural event," said Shoals Chamber of Commerce President and Lift Off Shoals moderator Caitlin Holland. "Then, we gleaned that number down to the four who presented. All the ideas were outstanding, and we are pleased to award these two with funding to help propel their efforts."

Bank Independent, UNA College of Business, and the Shoals Economic Development Authority are the Innovation sponsors for this event.

"We are pleased to have partnered with Bank Independent and the Shoals Economic Development Authority to sponsor this event," said Dr. Greg Carnes, Dean of UNA's College of Business. "We had a great turnout for this being its first year, and we look forward to it becoming an annual competition."

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/