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The purpose of this competition is to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in South Dakotans and assist with 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, March 1st. The competition event will be Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Since beginning in 2007, there have been more than 400 applicants to the student competition, with a number of success stories that include FOMENO (USD students), Provender Technologies (South Dakota Mines student) and The Calving Book App (Faulkton High School student). A total of $264,000 in prize money has been awarded since 2007.

Giant Vision prize money is raised from private business sponsors with matching funds from Governor Kristi Noem’s Office of Economic Development. First place in the Student Competition pays $5,000, with prizes paid through fifth place. Click here for a list of sponsors and prize levels awarded.


This competition is open to full-time South Dakota university, college, technical or other school students. If you are applying for an existing business that is located in South Dakota, you may have been in operation for no more than three years, as of the application deadline date. Also, if an existing business, annual sales revenues may not exceed $500,000.

Startup businesses that are NOT located in South Dakota and students who do NOT attend a South Dakota school do NOT qualify for this competition.


In South Dakota, there are multiple agencies working to assist individuals, including students, 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. These services are free of charge.

Fall 2023 | Spring 2024 Opportunities

The Dakota State 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 and grant applications. 2023-24 FAST Launch Lab Schedule. These programs are free of charge.

For more information and assistance, visit the Resources page.

Giant Vision has a separate open business competition that requires applicants to be a resident of South Dakota. Students have the option of applying in either competition but not both.

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Thank you to our Student Competition sponsors!

Citigroup, Inc.
South Dakota EPSCoR
State of South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development