Zingale Big Idea Competition Expands to Include Track for Area Residents Seeking Business Funding

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics at Allegheny College has introduced a new opportunity for area residents to compete for $10,000 in cash prizes by presenting their ideas for a business or nonprofit based in Crawford County.

The college’s Zingale Big Idea Competition will expand this year to include a track for non-student residents of Crawford County. This funding-request presentation contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular ABC and CNBC broadcast “Shark Tank.” As in prior years, the competition will also be open to Allegheny students and visiting college students. The competition is scheduled for April 24–25, 2020.

“When Allegheny President Hilary Link suggested that we expand the Zingale Big Idea Competition this year to include Crawford County residents, I was immediately excited by the idea and its potential for both the college and the community,” said Chris Allison, entrepreneur in residence in the Allegheny Department of Economics. “We think of the competition as ‘Shark Tank’ with a heart. Our judges not only evaluate competitors’ business plans but also provide them with constructive feedback, coaching and encouragement.”

Advance registration is required for the Zingale Big Idea Competition, and three workshops are scheduled to help participants prepare for the competition. The workshops are open to Allegheny students and community members interested in participating in the Crawford County community track.

The workshops are scheduled for 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. in the college’s Quigley Hall on:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, Workshop No. 1:  Developing Your Big Idea (register by Feb. 3)
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, Workshop No. 2:  Financial & Marketing Plans (register by Feb. 19)
  • Tuesday, March 24, Workshop No. 3: Pitching Your Idea (register by March 23)

To register for the workshops or to receive more information, contact Sarah Holt, event co-coordinator, at sholt@allegheny.edu. Individuals who are unable to participate in the workshops should contact Holt for more information about participating in the competition.

The Zingale Big Idea Competition is supported by Lance Zingale, a 1977 Allegheny graduate, and Burton D. Morgan Foundation.