The Zingale Big Idea Competition

What’s the Big Idea?

Our next competition is April 26-27, 2019

The Zingale Big Idea Competition is a funding request prZingale Big Idea Competitionesentation contest open to all Allegheny students. Student teams present concepts in any one of four areas:

  • For-profit Business
  • Not-for-profit Social Venture
  • Research Project
  • Community Engagement Initiative

The 12th Annual Competition will award students with a whopping total of $10,000 in prizes and trophies. The contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular CNBC broadcast, “Shark Tank.”

“The Big Idea Competition was a challenging yet very rewarding experience. It presented me with a unique opportunity to put together a holistic business plan that I would not have had in any other situation. Having an idea is one thing but putting together a business plan is very complex – I learned so much!” commented Liana Leja ’17, Zingale Prize winner.  

Meet the 2018 Big Idea Judges  | Read about the 2018 Winners

2018 Big Idea Competition Finalists
Spring 2018 Big Idea Competition Finalists

Successful presentations in past competitions have been about a mobile organic food market, a new music sharing app, an aquaponics research project, and an employment initiative for adults in the autism spectrum.  Keep in mind that you need to develop a project that falls into one of five categories: For-profit Business, Non-profit Social Venture, Research Project or Community Engagement Initiative.

What Next?

Working with your team, you’ll develop a presentation using the 10-20-30 Rule; that is, you’ll prepare 10 PowerPoint slides for a pitch that is 20 minutes long, using text no smaller than 30-point type on each slide.

Why Bother?

Participation in the competition will look great on your resume. And there’s the matter of money. The First Prize Team receives $5,000, Second Prize is $2,500 and the Third Prize is $1,500.  All who place will also get a trophy.


Email Sarah Holt at, Quigley Hall Coordinator or Prof. Chris Allison at,  Economics Department Entrepreneur in Residence.  They’ll provide additional information.