At Allegheny College, students participate in Zingale Big Idea competition’s final round, 4-29-23. Photo by Ed Mailliard.

2023 Zingale Big Idea Competition Announces Ten Winners

From left: Julien Voisey, Chance Hager, and Kobe Coleman. Photo by Ed Mailliard.
From left: Julien Voisey, Chance Hager, and Kobe Coleman. Photo by Ed Mailliard.

On Saturday, April 29, the 2023 Zingale Big Idea Competition at Allegheny College announced ten winners, including the top award to team GrandSlam AI, an artificial intelligence analysis used to improve a tennis player’s style with personalized coaching.

“What was remarkable about GrandSlam AI is not only the fact that they developed a working product, but gave a winning presentation, left the Zingale Big Idea Competition, traveled to Pittsburgh, and helped Allegheny win the PAC tennis conference championship,” said Chris Allison, co-director of Allegheny’s Bruce R. Thompson Center For Business & Economics.

The event featured 24 teams of 44 students from five institutions – Allegheny College, Westminster College, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and Robert Morris University. The winners shared $32,500 in prize money, generously and completely funded by Lance ’77 and Karen Zingale.

“What is so important about this competition is not only to reward the winning teams and individuals but to ensure that all 44 student participants learn something that will help them be even more successful as they launch their ventures and careers,” says Lance Zingale ’77, retired executive vice president and general manager of Sykes Enterprises.

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

Big Ideas:

  • 1st Place:
    GrandSlam AI, Julien Voisey, Kobe Coleman, and Chance Hager (Allegheny College)
  • 2nd Place Tie:
    ALMA, Mykyta Kovbasa, Daria Kutova, and Mariia Hlyten (Allegheny College)
    INTELI-KEY, Nicholas Tysiachney (Allegheny College)
    Breakthrough Investments, Reece Smith (Allegheny College)
  • Honorable Mention:
    Flow, Tergel Buyanbat, Kevin Lee, Ochirsaikhan Davaajambal (Allegheny College)


  • 1st Place:
    Wheat, Oleksandra “Sasha” Shafran, (Allegheny College)
  • 2nd Place Tie:
    Batanai, Rutendo Mavunga, (Allegheny College)
    Trades Rebuilt, Brianna Dunlap and Jonas Clark (Westminster College)

Small Business:

  • 1st Place Tie:
    Abby’s Arch, Abby Cannon, (Westminster College)
    ICEY Aesthetics LLC, Isis Philibert, (Duquesne University)

This year’s judges included:

  • Elise Brownell ’75, founder, ZephyrBiotech
  • Lisa Frankovitch, startup warrior and mentor
  • Steve Geimer, medical technology executive
  • John Golden, professor emeritus, Allegheny College
  • Andrew Gottlieb ’11, founder and chief executive officer, No Typical Moments
  • Liana Leja ’17, clinical research coordinator, Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute
  • Rich McIntyre ’88, president and founder, McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi Guito & Matthews, P.A.; investor of distressed company and technology
  • Brain Slawin, director and portfolio manager, Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  • Clayton Morris ’15, vice president of development and leasing, Sampson Morris Group
  • Lance Zingale ’77, retired executive vice president and general manager, Sykes Enterprises