2022 Zingale Big Idea Competition Crowns 10 Winners

Big Idea Competition
From left: Lance Zingale, Arigun Bayaraa, Tergel Byanbat, Binderiya Bitsaikham, Mariah Nablo, Dakchyata Thapa, and Chris Allison. (Photo by Richard Sayer)

On Saturday, April 30, the judges of the 2022 Zingale Big Idea Competition at Allegheny College crowned 10 winners, including Edible Roots, a social-purpose venture seeking to create green spaces and community gardens in urban settings, and Blue Ciel, an importer of Mongolian cashmere. This year’s winners shared a total prize pool of $32,000.

“This year’s pool of entrants could be the most interesting and diverse in the competition’s history,” says Chris Allison, co-director of Allegheny’s Bruce R. Thompson Center For Business & Economics. “And for the first time, we had more social venture ideas than for-profit enterprises.”

The Zingale Big Idea Competition is a student- and community-focused seed-funding business pitch presentation competition. It is designed for new business ideas that have yet to receive funding. This contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular TV show “Shark Tank,” but with a heart. Unlike “Shark Tank,” the Zingale Big Idea panel of distinguished judges does more than evaluate business models — they offer constructive feedback, coaching and encouragement.

This year’s winners include:

  • First Place:
    Mariah Nablo (Edible Roots – Urban Green Space Developer)
    Binderiva Batasaikhan (Blue Ciel – Cashmere Importer)
  • Second Place:
    Funda Eskalen (Conmigo – College Social Networking)
    Rutendo Mavunga (Batanai – Women’s Health In Zimbabwe)
  • Third Place:
    Samone Brosier (O’Day’s Relief – Free Credit Counseling)
    Arigun Bayaraa, Dakchyata Thapa and Riley Sawyer (Campus Carpool – College Ridesharing)
    Alexander Lawson, Andrew Strobel and Lucia Jueguen (Transamerica Partnership – Job Placement For Central Americans)
  • Meadville Community Track:
    Shannon Gilmore and Abigail Marshall (Meadville Bed Bug Task Force – Bed Bug Remediation)
    John Walton (Angel Animal Haven, Inc. – Pet Shelter)
  • Next Big Idea
    Tergel Buyanbat (Food For Thought – Healthy Eating Awareness)

This year’s judges included Lisa Frankovitch, CEO, Uplogix; John Golden, associate professor of economics, Allegheny College; Andrew Gottlieb ’11, CEO, No Typical Moments; Liana Leja ’17, clinical research coordinator, Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute; Rich McIntyre ’88, president, McIntyre, Thanasides, Bringgold, Elliott, Grimaldi, Guito & Matthews, P.A.; Clayton Morris ’15, vice president of development and leasing, Sampson Morris Group; Byron Rich, director of academic innovation partnerships, Allegheny College; Rob Smith ’73, executive chairman, Acutec Precision Aerospace; Andy Walker ’00, executive director, Allegheny Office of Economic, Civic and Community Engagement; Christian D. Walker ’20, social media marketing manager, Bitski; and Lance Zingale ’77, executive vice president & general manager, Sykes Enterprises (retired).