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Competition Overview

To enter the Governor's Giant Vision Business Competition, applicants must submit an extensive written business plan outlining their idea. A panel of judges made up of venture capitalists, financiers, educators, and established business leaders will review all applications and select the qualifying entries that will participate in the competition held in conjunction with this year's Governor's Office of Economic Development Conference.

All qualifiers will be expected to give presentations and discuss their ideas with business leaders, finance experts and others invited to attend the event.

The winner will be awarded $20,000. Second place award of $10,000, third place receiving $5,000, fourth place $3,000, and fifth place $2,000. The remaining qualifiers will receive $500 each to help with the expense of participation.

Judges for the Giant Vision competition donate a tremendous amount of time and expertise. The current judges represent the following companies:

Event Outline

The Governor's Giant Vision Business Awards Competition
(Sponsored by Governor Daugaard and Black Hills Energy, Rapid City; Christiansen Land & Cattle, Kimball; Dacotah Banks, Aberdeen; Daktronics, Inc., Brookings; MidAmerican Energy, South Dakota; Toshiba America, Mitchell; US Bank, Aberdeen, Rapid City and Sioux Falls; Wheeler Manufacturing, Lemmon; and Xcel Energy, Sioux Falls.)

  1. Online applications must be finalized and submitted no later than midnight (CST) on the deadline date.
  2. Independent panel of judges will review applications and select 8 qualifying entrants for competition.
  3. Qualifying entrants will receive an invitation to compete by the date noted at the bottom of this page. Non-qualifiers will also be notified of their status.
  4. On the day of the event, all qualifiers will set up displays. The space for each qualifier is 10' wide by 8' deep. Skirted tables will be provided or you may use a free-standing booth, if you have one. Oversized displays require advance approval.
  5. Judges will briefly view the displays at the beginning of the day. Each qualifier will then make a fifteen-minute presentation (including Q & A) to the judging panel in room away from the display area. When presentations are complete, the judges will meet privately to discuss the selection of finalists.
  6. Qualifiers will be required to prepare in advance a 100 word statement explaining their idea. This will be used for promotional purposes and for your "Elevator Pitch." This requires you to sum up your business plan and concisely explain why someone would be interested. Elevator Pitches will be recorded the day of competition.
  7. During the luncheon entrants will have the opportunity to visit with established business leaders.

Finalists will be required to remain setup throughout the day.


Important Dates/Reminders