SD EPSCoR News

2021 Governor’s Giant Vision Qualifiers Announced

Posted on: March 24, 2021   |   Category: News & Updates
Giant Vision Big Idea

As host of the Governor’s Giant Vision Business and Student Business Competitions, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Chair Brian Sandvig of Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Milbank, recently announced the qualifying applicants for the 2021 Business and Student competitions.

The following were selected by a panel of judges as the top qualifying entries that will advance to the next level of the competition to be held Wednesday, April 28, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The display area in Exhibit Hall 1 will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon.

These new business ventures are competing for a top prize of $20,000.

  • Artic Sombrero (unique lid designed to interface with 12 oz canned beverages and replace the lid on a standard 30 oz Yeti style tumbler), Ron Heiman, Sioux Falls
  • Cybernet Human LLC — iYou (application for patient access to healthcare records), Clay Strombeck and Kelly McKinney, Rapid City
  • Halogi Hot Sauce (premium line of sauces), Luke Davidson and Nick Curry, Brookings and White
  • Hydrolyst, LLC (process to reduce the production cost and life span of electrocatalysts used in hydrogen fuel cells), Kirstie Gildemeister and Kelsey Fitzgerald, Rapid City
  • Shield Swift (rapid deployable weather protection device for the motorcycle market), Denise Robertson and Duane Langenfeld, Rapid City
  • Sternum Protect (device to assist with recovery after open-chest surgeries), Angel Rollag and Amanda Rollag, Sioux Falls

These students are vying for a $5,000 first place prize for the best business idea.

  • Audacia (stylish and quality travel bags), Jamie McGowan, Dakota Wesleyan University
  • BioNanoTech (biocompatible and optimizable nanoparticle-based DNA carriers for genetic transformation in plants), Chinenye Izuegbunam and Jace Jerome, University of South Dakota
  • BioTape (cellulose biofilm burn and wound care bandages), Kim Yip Chiok, attending the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Chi-X (biomaterials that address surgical and post-surgical bleeding), Nghia Thai and Nhu Y Mai, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • FChem Solutions (company centered on developing fluorination technologies and high-performance fluorinated materials), Siyu Mao and Jordan Kramer, University of South Dakota
  • Fomeno (platform to connect thrift shoppers with online stores for specific items), Brigit Blote and Payton Ryz, University of South Dakota
  • GreenLight Bionics (product development for treatment of amputees and impaired motor capability patients), Kouadio Niamba, University of South Dakota
  • Lafdr (“no photo” dating app matching users based on common interests), Morgan Vagts, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Prairie BioTechnology (extending shelf life of fruit with a food presentative derived from an agricultural byproduct), Matthew Cole and Logan Wolf, South Dakota State University

Events on Wednesday, April 28, include time for judges to visit with each competitor in a tradeshow type environment, followed by individual private presentations to the panel of judges. Competitors are judged on a variety of factors that include not only their formal presentation but also specifics such as market, opportunity, financial plan and management.

About the Competitions

The Governor’s Giant Vision Business and Student Business competitions were established to help citizens realize that South Dakota is the very best place to start a successful business. The program was designed as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete for seed money and a chance to achieve their dream. This South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry program is chaired by Brad Wheeler, Wheeler Manufacturing of Lemmon.

Giant Vision is a program of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, made possible by financial support for prize money from Governor Kristi Noem’s office. These funds are matched by the following businesses to generate additional prize money and funds necessary to run the event. (No public funds are used to run the competition.) 2021 marks the 17th year of the Giant Vision business competition and the 15th year of a college student competition.