Coin Capital Team Wins Zingale Big Idea Competition at Allegheny College

Allegheny College students James Burnette, Austin Bristol and Joe Nagel won first prize and $5,000 in Allegheny’s Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition, a contest sponsored by the college’s Center for Business and Economics and modeled after ABC’s popular “Shark Tank” show.

Big Idea Competition 2018 Winner
From left: Chris Allison, Austin Bristol, James Burnette and Lance Zingale

Burnette, Bristol and Nagel’s team — Coin Capital — pitched an idea for a hedge fund that specializes in high frequency trading between the U.S. dollar and cryptocurrencies. They have worked together since December on developing a proprietary algorithm to trade and generate a profit in these markets.

In all, 25 teams of students — 20 from Allegheny and five from Grove City College — entered the competition, held April 27–28. The winning teams included students with academic majors that run the gamut from art to computer science to economics to environmental science.

“The success of a liberal arts education was on full display at this year’s Zingale Big Idea Competition,” said Chris Allison, Allegheny entrepreneur in residence and co-coordinator of the competition. “Students presented innovative ideas that reflected the breadth and depth of what they are learning and the analytical skills they are developing. We are very excited to see what they do next.”

Other award winners were:

Second Prize ($2,500)
MunchYum — Frank Chen and Chris Miller (Allegheny College)

Third Prize ($1,500)
KnowIT — Jeremy Moore, Eduardo Anaya and Kadeem Lafargue (Allegheny College)

The Next Big Idea ($1,000) – the proposal showing the most potential for further development
Aid Memoir — Natalia Buczek (Allegheny College)

Honorable Mentions
SEO Vineyard  —  Connor Grieb (Grove City College)
Chute — Steve Weaver, Levi Roberts and Boyce Cubarney (Grove City College)

The competition was renamed last year in honor of 1977 Allegheny graduate Lance Zingale and his wife, Karen. In November, the Zingales made a gift to establish a $500,000 endowed fund supporting the Center for Business and Economics. Lance Zingale has served as a judge at the competition for the last four years and is a member of the center’s Board of Visitors.