Office of University Communications & Marketing

Come See the Best and Brightest Innovators in the Shoals

Oct. 11, 2019



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392
Guy McClure, College of Business, at gymcclure@una.edu or 256-765-4107

FLORENCE, AL – The sixth 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, Oct. 15. The
event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Guillot University Center on the UNA
campus and is partially funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“On Oct. 15, participants will have three minutes to make their pitch,” said Mary Marshall
VanSant, event organizer. “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.”

In 2018, Balance Birth Center won the event as a pioneer out-of-hospital birth option 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.

Jay Hayes, an advocate for building a remote workforce, will be the guest speakers for the Shoals
Idea Audition. He has been programming professionally for more than 10 years, half of that time
being 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 perfect
situation for him as it allows him to do what he loves while being close to his wife and baby
boys. Last year, he presented a Ted Talk at TedX: Wilson Park, “Remotely Production.”

The Shoals Idea Audition is 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 these ideas a reality. For the sixth year, 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.



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