The purpose of this competition is to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in South Dakotans and to offer an opportunity to compete for start-up funds. The program provides a format where finalists can meet and present their ideas to judges, investors, representatives from various assistance organizations, economic development professionals and successful business owners. Finalists compete for prize money. The competition exists to create help new jobs and grow the South Dakota economy.
The application deadline for the 2024 competition is midnight, Friday, February 23rd. The competition event will be Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.
Since beginning in 2005, nearly 500 South Dakota residents have applied to the business competition. An ever-growing number of businesses have been highly successful and, in 2021, reported raising $96 million in equity and other funding. Many have also received GOED/REDI fund loans.
Prize money is raised from private business sponsors with partial matching funds from Governor Kristi Noem’s Office of Economic Development. The first place Business Competition prize is $20,000, with prizes paid through sixth place. Click here for sponsors and prize levels awarded.
If you are a South Dakota resident with a unique idea and are committed to operating your business in South Dakota, you are eligible to apply. Is your business up and running? If yes, you may not have been in business for more than three years as of the event date, with annual sales revenues not to exceed $500,000.
If you do not reside in South Dakota, you do not qualify for this competition.
In South Dakota, there are multiple agencies working to assist individuals with developing successful businesses. Anyone interested in the Giant Vision Competition is strongly urged to connect with an agency in their area before applying. The complete list is available here Business Assistance Directory.
Fall 2023 | Spring 2024 Opportunities
The Dakota State University Paulson Cyber Incubator & Entrepreneurial Center presents FAST Launch. FAST Launch is a joint program of SD BioTech, EPSCoR, and Dakota State University. The purpose of FAST Launch is to help people develop their business idea through the lean launch methodology by engaging in customer discovery and business model validation. FAST Launch is also designed to prepare people for the Governor’s Giant Vision Competition which will be held April 11, 2024 as well as other business competitions. 2023-24 FAST Launch Lab Schedule. These programs are free of charge.
Giant Vision has a separate competition for students that requires attendance at a South Dakota school but not state residency.