The Zingale Big Idea Competition

What’s the Big Idea?

Our next competition is April 26-28, 2018

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 10th Annual Competition during the spring 2017 semester awarded 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

View photos from the 2017 competition.

Think You Might Have a Big Idea for 2018?

Mark your calendar! Competition dates are April 26-28.

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 four categories: For-profit Business, Non-profit Social Venture, Research Project, or Community Engagement Initiative.

What Do You Need

Entering is easy. To register, email Sarah Holt at, Quigley Hall Coordinator or Prof. Chris Allison at,  Economics Department Entrepreneur in Residence.  They’ll provide additional information.

Then What?

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.

How Can You Prepare?

You can re-purpose your Junior Seminar or Senior Comprehensive Project, or take Econ 380 – Economics of Entrepreneurship II, which meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during Spring semester. Class members will work on their Big Idea presentations for the full semester.  Pre-requisites are waived for this class. Email Professor Allison if you are interested in adding Econ 380.

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.