Attention Aspiring Entrepreneurs!

September 25, 2014

SHOALS — Aspiring entrepreneurs can present their business ideas to a panel of area professionals on November 18. The best idea will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize. The Shoals Chamber of Commerce’s Idea Audition has been designed to help foster new businesses, help entrepreneurs polish their presentations, and introduce them to community leaders who might be instrumental in helping make their ideas a reality.

“This is part ‘Shark Tank’ and part ‘American Idol,’” said Mary Marshall VanSant, Vice President for Investor Relations and Public Policy for the Shoals Chamber. “We’ll even help business people rehearse and polish their presentations to help them refine their ideas and make them into viable businesses. Five thousand dollars is a great reward for the best idea, but we’re hoping that the exposure to business leaders in the community will also foster some mentor relationships.”

The idea for the Audition came from a group of Chamber members who want to encourage entrepreneurs to create businesses in the Shoals area. VanSant added, “Our area has tremendous resources to support the business start-up, from the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center to the Shoals Chamber, and from the Alabama Technology Network to the Small Business Center at UNA. When we began brainstorming the idea of a business pitch contest, the UNA Business School stepped forward and offered facilities and expertise. That’s how this event came to be.”

Participants must register by November 11, 2014, but there is no cost to participate. Registration and contest rules can be found on the event website at

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