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The Governor’s Giant Vision Awards

Dear Entrepreneur:

Have you been waiting for the right time to explore a great business idea?  Are you looking for a safe place to explore the idea’s potential with experienced business people and possibly win $20,000 to help make the idea a reality?  You are looking in the right place.

Thank you for your interest in the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition.  Governor Dennis Daugaard, along with Black Hills Corp./Black Hills Power, Rapid City; Christiansen Land & Cattle Ltd., Kimball; Dacotah Banks, Aberdeen; Daktronics, Inc., Brookings; MidAmerican Energy Company, Sioux Falls; Toshiba America, Mitchell; US Bank, Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Rapid City; Wheeler Manufacturing, Lemmon; and Xcel Energy, Sioux Falls, are sponsoring this competition with the hope of giving South Dakota entrepreneurs a chance to achieve their dreams.

The Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition will give you the opportunity to develop your ideas, write a business plan and make a formal presentation.  A panel of business experts will review all entries and select eight qualifiers who will attend the final competition in Sioux Falls.  Qualifiers will give presentations and discuss their ideas with seasoned business and financial experts and other invitees.

The winner will be awarded $20,000.  The second place award is $10,000, third place is $5,000, 4th place is $3,000, and 5th place is $2,000.  The remaining qualifiers will receive $500 each to help with the expenses of participation.  Selection of winners will be based on a combination of the viability of the business proposal, including considerations of potential competition, likelihood of success, market size and profitability.  The judges will give heavier weighting to business proposals that have the potential to advance employment or the economic base in South Dakota.

Those entering the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition will submit a written business plan that outlines the business idea, potential markets, production requirements (if any) and other standard items.  All South Dakotans, including innovative individuals in the workplace with ideas for their own business are encouraged to apply.  The competition is open to entrepreneurs with new ideas that they believe would benefit from the review and analysis process of the competition.  Existing companies may only have been in business three years or less (as of the competition date) AND with annual sales revenue not to exceed $500,000.

The focus of this program is on the business plan or business model and is not limited to technology entries.

There is a separate competition for college/university/technical school students.

While starting your own business may seem overwhelming, it can also be very rewarding.  We hope you will find the experience you gain by entering the Governor’s competition to be as valuable as others have found it.  As you begin writing your business plan, please take advantage of assistance from the agencies listed throughout the website.

David Owen, President
South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry