The Zingale Big Idea Competition

The 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.  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 business models – they offer constructive feedback, coaching and encouragement.

The next Big Idea Competition will be held on April 28-29, 2023

Deadline to Register: April 14

How can you participate?

Workshops are scheduled to help participants prepare for the competition. Those interested in competing in the Zingale Big Idea Competition and/or attend the workshops should contact Entrepreneur in Residence, Professor Chris Allison at

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.  The Executive Summaries must include an overview of the company’s 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.

2023 Zingale Big Idea Workshops, 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., Quigley Auditorium

  • Feb 14 – Creating A Big Idea
  • March 14 – From Big Idea To A Company
  • March 28 – Marketing Your Big Idea
  • April 4 – Your Big Idea’s Finances
  • April 11 – Pitching Your Big Idea

Workshop  Slides

  1. Download Week #1 Slides: Finding A Relevant Problem to Solve
  2. Download Week #2 Slides: Creating A Big Idea To Solve The Problem
  3. Download Week #3 Slides:  Marketing Your Big Idea
  4. Download Week #4 Slides:  Developing Your Big Idea’s Financial Plan
  5. Download Week #5 Slides:  The Pitch

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

The Zingale Big Idea Competition has been made possible through the generous support of Lance & Karen Zingale.

What kind of ideas have won in the past? Check out the results of previous competitions:

Here are the results of our 2022 competition!| Meet the judges | 2022 Photo Album

2021 Big Idea Winners | 2021 Judges

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