Shoals Shift is a creative effort to attract, nurture and promote The Shoals creative & tech economy through collaborative meet-ups & mentorships to support sustainable growth.  

Shoals Shift is an initiative that is funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission

 
Shoals Innovation Week is scheduled for February 20 – 25, 2018 at various locations throughout the metro-Shoals area. The week of events is sponsored by Shoals Shift under the auspices of the University of North Alabama College of Business, The Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce. The week-long conference is partially funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Shoals Innovation Week is sponsored by Bank Independent and The Joel R. Anderson Foundation. It was created to highlight some of the innovative practices that are going on with a growing number of entrepreneurs based in the local area. It also allows start-up businesses the chance to network and ask questions of successful leaders in their fields.  The week of events are detailed below: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 4:30—5:30 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SHOALS ALABAMA LAUNCHPAD FINALE ROUNDS                                                                                                                                                                  SINGIN RIVER LIVE | 526 E. COLLEGE STREET | FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                    Watch as Shoals Alabama Launchpad participants pitch in front of judges and an audience for a share of $100,000.00. Anyone interested in being a part of the entrepreneurship community is invited to this free event. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 5:30-7:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                               NEXTGEN SHOALS INNOVATION AWARDS                                                                                                                                                                               SINGIN RIVER LIVE | 526 E. COLLEGE STREET IN FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Be a part of a fast-paced fun evening that recognizes and rewards startups that inspire us to be at the leading edge of tech communities. Led by the Chamber’s NextGen group, this premier event is certain to be an annual must go. The tech community, Chamber members, and interested community members are invited to attend. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22                                                                                                                                                                                                               11:30 AM—1:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                       SHOALS TECHSPACE LAUNCH                                                                                                                                                                                                 ROGERS BUILDING | 131 N. COURT STREET | FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                            The Shoals Technology Partnership invites the public to the launch of the new Shoals TechSpace in the heart of downtown Florence. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25                                                                                                                                                                   SMART START WEEKEND                                                                                                                                                                                                                  THE UNA COMMONS BUILDING                                                                                                                                                                                                    Friday night kicks off Smart Start Weekend, a three-day event for students to exchange business startup ideas, focusing on 6-8 ideas that cover the course of the weekend to develop a company. This annual program uses a format based on the very successful Innovation Engineering tool set. Students will come away with a clear path towards building a company and then present their ideas to a panel of local investors. The public is invited to be part of the finale starting at 5:00 pm on Sunday, February 25. For more information about Innovation Week call 256-765-4107 or email innovation@una.edu.  

Shoals Innovation Week is scheduled for February 20 – 25, 2018 at various locations throughout the metro-Shoals area. The week of events is sponsored by Shoals Shift under the auspices of the University of North Alabama College of Business, The Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce. The week-long conference is partially funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Shoals Innovation Week is sponsored by Bank Independent and The Joel R. Anderson Foundation. It was created to highlight some of the innovative practices that are going on with a growing number of entrepreneurs based in the local area. It also allows start-up businesses the chance to network and ask questions of successful leaders in their fields. 

The week of events are detailed below:

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20

4:30—5:30 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SHOALS ALABAMA LAUNCHPAD FINALE ROUNDS                                                                                                                                                                  SINGIN RIVER LIVE | 526 E. COLLEGE STREET | FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                    Watch as Shoals Alabama Launchpad participants pitch in front of judges and an audience for a share of $100,000.00. Anyone interested in being a part of the entrepreneurship community is invited to this free event.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20

5:30-7:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                               NEXTGEN SHOALS INNOVATION AWARDS                                                                                                                                                                               SINGIN RIVER LIVE | 526 E. COLLEGE STREET IN FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Be a part of a fast-paced fun evening that recognizes and rewards startups that inspire us to be at the leading edge of tech communities. Led by the Chamber’s NextGen group, this premier event is certain to be an annual must go. The tech community, Chamber members, and interested community members are invited to attend.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22                                                                                                                                                                                                               11:30 AM—1:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                                       SHOALS TECHSPACE LAUNCH                                                                                                                                                                                                 ROGERS BUILDING | 131 N. COURT STREET | FLORENCE                                                                                                                                                            The Shoals Technology Partnership invites the public to the launch of the new Shoals TechSpace in the heart of downtown Florence.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25                                                                                                                                                                   SMART START WEEKEND                                                                                                                                                                                                                  THE UNA COMMONS BUILDING                                                                                                                                                                                                    Friday night kicks off Smart Start Weekend, a three-day event for students to exchange business startup ideas, focusing on 6-8 ideas that cover the course of the weekend to develop a company. This annual program uses a format based on the very successful Innovation Engineering tool set. Students will come away with a clear path towards building a company and then present their ideas to a panel of local investors. The public is invited to be part of the finale starting at 5:00 pm on Sunday, February 25.

For more information about Innovation Week call 256-765-4107 or email innovation@una.edu.

 

Inventor of Social Media App Wins Idea Audition

Vicinidi, a social media notification app that sends messages within a specified predetermined zone, took home first prize in Tuesday night’s Shoals Idea Audition.  App developer Carl Holden received $5,000 for this winning entry in the entrepreneurship competition.

Holden says he invented Vicinidi as a location-based app so that specific targeted messages could be controlled through geofencing, a GPS function that creates a virtual geographic boundary. This technology enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Vicinidi then releases geographically focused messages to others who have downloaded the social media platform.

The Shoals Idea Audition is an annual event sponsored by the University of North Alabama, Bank Independent, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce. For four years this event has taken place under the auspices of Shoals Shift, a creative effort through the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center and partially funded bythe Appalachian Regional Commission to attract, nurture and promote The Shoals creative and tech economy. 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 will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize, with $2,500 and $1,000 to second and third-place winners, respectively.

The second place winner was Shoals Take Out, an existing Florence-based food delivery company that auditioned to obtain funding to expand technology in their business.  Zip Vending took home third place with their proposal to development smarter and more customer-friendly vending machines.

Over 30 competitors presented their ideas to a preliminary round of judges. These presentations were gleaned down to five who presented in a final round to judges and an audience of about 150 UNA students and guests.

“I am glad I didn’t have to judge these competitors,” stated Caitlin Holland, Chamber President. “All the applicants had very producible ideas. I hope everyone continues the research and development of their products or services and will continue the trend towards innovation and entrepreneurship going on in the Shoals at present.”

Keynote speaker for the event was Tasia Malakasis, owner and president of Belle Chevre, an award-winning cheese producer located in Elkmont, Alabama. She told her story of developing and marketing a product without any prior experience but being guided by passion.  Malakasis stated, “As a literature major who started a career in the technology sector, I never dreamed I would return to Alabama to lead the operations of a goat cheese manufacturer.” Malakasis has grown Belle Chevre into an internationally recognized distributor of artisan cheeses and have been featured in Fortune and Business magazines and on Oprah and Good Morning America.

Shoals Shift, who initially developed the Idea Audition format, has other opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their conception. Shoals Alabama Launchpad is a partnership among the University of North Alabama College of Business, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center. It is the first regional expansion for Alabama Launchpad, a program of EDPA. 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 $100,000. The Launchpad event is scheduled for February 20, 2018 with an application deadline of November 1, 2017. More information can be found at www.alabamalaunchpad.com/regionals/shoals.

    Shoals Alabama Launchpad Event Supports Area Innovation Startups THE SHOALS, Alabama - The Shoals Alabama Launchpad is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 cycle for the regional startup competition. The application deadline is November 1.  The preliminary pitch event is scheduled for January 11, 2018 and the finals are scheduled for February 20. The competition is designed for new, independent ventures in the pre-seed, startup or early growth stages – or for the expansion of an existing business into a new high-growth market. Shoals Alabama Launchpad is a partnership among the University of North Alabama College of Business, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center. It is the first regional expansion for Alabama Launchpad, a program of EDPA. Startups from the Shoals area 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 $100,000. Last year Sycamore Physician Contracting, a Florence-based service that matches emergency room physicians with hospitals, received the highest dollar amount at $27,500.   Infant clothing and accessory line manufacturers Southern Swaddle was awarded $26,000. The manufacturer of Alchemy, an anti-tarnish and allergy protective spray for jewelry and metals, received $20,000. School protection services, nSide, received $15,000, and luxury shoelace manufacturer Luxe Brand received $7,000.  “It is exciting to see the progress that last year’s winners have accomplished due to the funding they received from Alabama Launchpad,” said Caitlin Holland, Shoals Chamber President. “More and more our area is becoming known as catalyst for innovative industry and I’m sure that startup competitions such as Shoals Alabama Launchpad is instrumental in making that so.” To apply for the competition or for information visit alabamalaunchpad.com/regionals/shoals.                                   

   

Shoals Alabama Launchpad Event Supports Area Innovation Startups

THE SHOALS, Alabama - The Shoals Alabama Launchpad is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 cycle for the regional startup competition. The application deadline is November 1.  The preliminary pitch event is scheduled for January 11, 2018 and the finals are scheduled for February 20.

The competition is designed for new, independent ventures in the pre-seed, startup or early growth stages – or for the expansion of an existing business into a new high-growth market.

Shoals Alabama Launchpad is a partnership among the University of North Alabama College of Business, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center. It is the first regional expansion for Alabama Launchpad, a program of EDPA. Startups from the Shoals area 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 $100,000.

Last year Sycamore Physician Contracting, a Florence-based service that matches emergency room physicians with hospitals, received the highest dollar amount at $27,500.   Infant clothing and accessory line manufacturers Southern Swaddle was awarded $26,000. The manufacturer of Alchemy, an anti-tarnish and allergy protective spray for jewelry and metals, received $20,000. School protection services, nSide, received $15,000, and luxury shoelace manufacturer Luxe Brand received $7,000. 

“It is exciting to see the progress that last year’s winners have accomplished due to the funding they received from Alabama Launchpad,” said Caitlin Holland, Shoals Chamber President. “More and more our area is becoming known as catalyst for innovative industry and I’m sure that startup competitions such as Shoals Alabama Launchpad is instrumental in making that so.”

To apply for the competition or for information visit alabamalaunchpad.com/regionals/shoals