The Zingale Big Idea Competition

Join Us for the 2022 Zingale BIG IDEA Competition April 29-30

Zingale Big Idea CompetitionThe 2022 Zingale Big Idea Competition is a student-focused seed-funding business pitch presentation competition.  It is designed for new business ideas, which have yet-to-receive funding.  Student teams that have received private equity, venture capital, economic development agency funding or family funding in excess of $2,500 are encouraged to enter the Meadville Community Track of the competition. Workshops are scheduled to help participants prepare for the competition.

To be eligible to compete in the Zingale Big Idea Competition, all contestants must submit an Executive Summary of a business plan to Chris Allison no later than Friday, April 15, 2022 via email to  The Executive Summaries must include an overview of the companies financials, including monthly operating costs, startup costs and at least a 1-year income statement.  A three year outlook is preferable.  A template for the Executive Summary can be found among the handy contest templates at the bottom of this page.

The Annual Competition will award a whopping total of $25,000 in prize money among the student winners. This contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular CNBC broadcast, Shark Tank, but with a heart. Unlike Shark Tank, the Zingale Big Idea distinguished panel of judges do more than evaluate the student team’s business models – they offer constructive feedback, coach and encourage students. Meet the 2021 Big Idea Judges.

Who Won in 2021?

Brandon Bolling '22, Dry Lake Farms
1st Place: Brandon Bolling ’22, Allegheny College, Dry Lake Farms

Three creators of business startups including an environmentally-friendly chicken producer, an innovating podcasting provider and a soccer-field scheduling application battled for the $10,000 top prize at the “virtual” 14th Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition hosted by Allegheny College’s Bruce R. Thompson Center For Business & Economics (CBE) on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

And the eventual winner came from down on the farm — Dry Lake Farm.

Second Place Winner From Grove City College: Cameron Suorsa & Eric Dudgeon of SideKickk, a podcast management platform
2nd Place: Cameron Suorsa & Eric Dudgeon, Grove City College, SideKickk

Allegheny College student Brandon Bolling’s Dry Lake Farm eked out a hard-fought less-than-one-scoring-point victory over Grove City College’s Sidekickk led by Cameron Suorsa and Eric Dudgeon in the “virtual” Zingale Big Idea Competition at Allegheny College.

Westminster College’s Adam Saunders finished close behind in third place with a very strong presentation about his online scheduling and revenue-sharing application designed to enable soccer players to book time on local football pitches.

Lance Zingale ’77

“I believe that the societal and environmental impact of 2021 winner Brandon Bolling and his Dry Lake Farm will be more life changing than any of the other ideas that we saw this year. Big Idea’s like that are the foundation of the competition,” said Lance Zingale ’77, a longtime judge and major sponsor of the Zingale Big Idea Competition along with Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Other prize categories included the Best Social Venture Idea, The Next Big Idea and Honorable Mention.  The rundown of all the competition winners appear below.

Company Contestants College Finishing Position
Dry Lake Farm Brandon Bolling Allegheny College First – Gold
SideKickk Cameron Suorsa & Eric Dudgeon Grove City College Second – Silver
GetaGame Adam Saunders Westminster College Third – Bronze
Verus Anthony Baldeosingh & Sweta Rauniyar Allegheny College Best Social Venture Idea
Collection Center Noah Luzader Westminster College Next Big Idea
Granddaughter Tech Support Alex Heinle Allegheny College Next Big Idea
The Nxt Dimension Doug Salah Westminster College Next Big Idea
Gulpp Deliveries Atlas Besenfelder & Christian Lussier Allegheny College Next Big Idea
JG Connect Jordan Greynolds Allegheny College Honorable Mention
CyberAssist Jordan Wilson Allegheny College Honorable Mention

Questions or want to register for the event and/or the workshops?
Email Sarah Holt at,  Event Co-Coordinator in Quigley Hall  or Prof. Chris Allison at They’ll provide additional information.

Why Bother?
Participation in the competition will look great on your resume.  You can win money to make your Big Idea a reality.

What’s 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. Here are the templates that you will need to complete prior to your presentation:

Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – 1 Year Financial Plan Template
Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – 3 Year Financial Plan Template 
Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – Annual Revenue Worksheet
Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – Monthly Expense Worksheet
Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – Startup Cost Estimator
Zingale Big Idea Competition ’20 – Presentation Template

Previous Competitions:

The 2020 competition was cancelled due to Covid 19.

Follow this link to see the 2019 Big Ideas, Winners & Judges

Meet the 2018 Big Idea Judges | Read about the 2018 Winners | View photos from 2018 competition

The Zingale Big Idea Competition has been made possible through the generous support of Lance & Karen Zingale and  Burton D. Morgan Foundation.