The following are general answers to frequently asked questions. If you are uncertain about any information that is provided, please contact the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry by calling 1-877-817-8215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I apply for Giant Vision?
The purpose of this competition is to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in South Dakotans, assist with start-up funds and provide a format where competitors can meet and explore their ideas with judges, investors, representatives from various assistance organizations, economic development professionals and successful business owners.
If you believe your business idea could benefit from the rigors of the application process (completing an executive summary, a detailed business plan and financial projections), are willing to seek assistance with fine-tuning your plan and are open to suggestions, you might win prize money to assist with starting up your business.
When are the application deadlines and the event date?
The application deadlines for 2023 are March 3rd for the Business (or, open) competition and March 10th for the Student competition. The final presentation day for those selected as qualifiers is Tuesday, April 25 in Sioux Falls.
Am I eligible to apply?
Business/Open Competition: 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.
Student Competition: If you are a full-time South Dakota university, college, technical or other school student, you are eligible to apply.
For the Business or Student Competition, if your business is operational, 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.
*See additional information under “Who cannot apply?”
Who cannot apply?
Business/Open Competition: If you do not reside in South Dakota, you cannot apply. If you have previously won this competition, you may not apply with the same idea.
If you have applied with the same idea two times already, you may not apply.
Student Competition: If you are not a full-time student of a South Dakota university, college, technical or other school student, you cannot apply. If you have previously won this competition, you may not apply with the same idea.
If you have applied with the same idea two times already, you may not apply.
Which competition is for me?
While students have the option apply to the Business Competition, they should be aware that the competitiveness of these finalists will be significantly stronger than the those in the Student Competition. Typically, most will be much farther along with their business ideas.
Non-students are only eligible for the Business Competition.
Can I apply in both competitions?
If I applied before, may I apply again?
You may apply a second time with the same idea UNLESS you previously won the competition. Previous winners may not apply again with the same idea.
Previous winners who have developed an entirely new business idea may apply again.
Is there a fee to apply?
There are no fees to apply or compete but if selected as a qualifier, you will need to prepare for travel and/or lodging expenses. Qualifiers that do not place in the prize money receive a $500 stipend (one per company) to help with expenses.
Is the competition virtual or in person?
At the current time, the competition is in person only.
How do I apply?
To apply you must complete and submit the online application form and attach an executive summary, a well-developed business plan and three-year projected financials (a template is provided but you may use another similar, or more robust, format).
How is my application evaluated and by whom?
A panel of independent judges representing education, science and technology, business startups and financing review each application and consider clarity of the idea presented, recognition of existing competition and other barriers, realistic financial projections and other items noted on the Resources/Best Practices page of the website – https://southdakotagiantvision.com/business-competition/resources/best-practices/
Is there assistance available to help me prepare my application?
YES, there are many organizations throughout South Dakota that provide free assistance to entrepreneurs. Here is the current list, which will be updated as needed. 2023BusAsstDirectory
The majority of past winners have worked with one or more of these agencies and you would benefit from pursuing this assistance.
Is there a video I can watch that explains all of this?
Yes, there is a YouTube video of an informational session that further explains the competition, including input from successful competitors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnVFa3sbd_Q&t=59s
I’m worried about protecting the intellectual property of my idea, will I need to submit technical information and who will see it?
Only the judges will see your business plan. All judges will sign non-disclosure agreements. The following link will provide you with the content of the competitor and judges agreements.
How is the competition funded?
Corporate donations fund the majority of the event, with partial matching funds from the State of South Dakota for prize money. The program is coordinated by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry which is a private business organization that focuses on public policy, legislative, regulatory and ballot issues.
When will I hear if I'm moving forward in the competition?
All applicants will be notified of their status before the end of March. Media releases will be distributed at this time and a list of qualifiers will be posted to the various social media sites.
How much prize money is there?
The Student Competition pays five places: 1st $5,000 | 2nd $4,000 | 3rd $3,000 | 4th $2,000 | 5th $1,000. Other qualifiers (or finalists) receive a $500 stipend (per company) to assist with the cost of competing.
The Business Competition pays five places: 1st $20,000 | 2nd $10,000 | 3rd $5,000 | 4th $3,000 | 5th $2,000 | 6th $1,000. Other qualifiers (or finalists) receive a $500 stipend (per company) to assist with the cost of competing.
If I win prize money, what can I spend it on?
While we assume winners will use prize money to further their entrepreneurial goals, there are no restrictions on the use of prize money.
We are required to report prize money in excess of $600 and will secure the necessary IRS tax form from winners before such prize money is give. Qualifiers will be notified of this requirement in advance of the final event day.
What will I need to submit if I'm selected as a qualifier?
You will need to submit your slide deck for presentation to the panel of judges, a 30 second recorded elevator pitch and a completed IRS Form (this form is only required if you place in the prize money and may be submitted the day of the event).
Qualifiers are allowed to bring a total of four individuals to the competition. The names must also be submitted 7-10 days in advance.
Where will I submit this additional information?
Directly to program coordinator Mary Anne Boyd – email@example.com. Call 1-877-817-8215 with any questions.
If a qualifier, what should I expect on competition day?
Qualifiers for both the Business and the Student Competitions will setup in a tradeshow-type of environment. Booth spaces with pipe and drape, tables, chairs and access to electric and wi-fi will be provided at no charge.
The respective judging teams will visit you at your booth at the start of the day. Following visits, you will make a presentation to the judging panel in a private room. There are typically no more than eight to ten individuals on the judging teams. Live pitches are not open to the public.
The judging teams include representatives from successful businesses, venture capitalists, and education, science and technology fields. Some are sponsors of the competition.
How are the winners determined?
Judges consider each competitor based on the business idea’s opportunity, market, method, management, financials, presentation skills, response to questions and other related areas.
At the conclusion of the final presentation, judging teams begin deliberating. Individual scores are shared, presentations are discussed and votes are taken to determine the winner and the order of other prize money.
When are the winners announced?
Winners will be announced at the end of the luncheon program. Photographs will be taken and may appear on social media.
Is there anything else?
Each competitor team will receive feedback notes on their presentation within approximately two weeks of the event. This is intended to be constructive feedback that will assist you with future presentations or competitions.