South Dakota FAST Launch
The South Dakota FAST Launch* program is designed to assist South Dakota entrepreneurs and small businesses with beginning and expanding their business through the South Dakota Giant Vision Competition and SBIR/STTR funding.
1) Bootcamp Info and Registration
South Dakota FAST Launch will conduct a virtual boot camp training program on starting and growing businesses as well as developing and commercializing innovations.
Any entrepreneur or existing company can register for the bootcamp.
This is the first step.
Business Bootcamp – A Seven-hour Crash Course in Starting a Business
(Select only one session)
- November 6 (Saturday) 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE
- December 4 (Saturday) 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE
2) Developing a Business Model: Customer Discovery
Participants of the bootcamp are eligible to apply for up to $1,500 to support a customer validation process.
During the bootcamp participants will learn about customer discovery and can apply for funding to support their proposed efforts. Only participants in the bootcamp are eligible to apply. The FAST Launch management team will review and approve applications for funding.
The awardee will need to submit a report summarizing the results to receive payment from South Dakota Biotech for the approved amount.
Customer Discovery (Select only one session)
- November 12 (Friday) 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 12 (Friday) 3 – 5 p.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 18 (Thursday) 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 18 (Thursday) 3 – 5 p.m. REGISTER HERE
3) Write a Business Plan
If customer interest is validated, a participant can apply for up to $10,000 to support further development and implementation of their business plan.
To be eligible to apply the applicant must have participated in the bootcamp and completed customer discovery (this could be done with or without FAST financial support). The application would be a draft business plan that they commit to submit to Giant Vision along with a proposed budget and budget narrative detailing how they plan to spend the funds and how the results will enhance their Giant Vision business plan application and/or SBIR/STTR application. Applicants need to propose steps that can be taken rather quickly such as purchase supplies to make a prototype, contract for a prototype to be built, testing, etc.
Business Plan (Select only one session)
- November 15 (Monday) 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 15 (Monday) 3 – 5 p.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 23 (Tuesday) 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
- November 23 (Tuesday) 3 – 5 p.m. REGISTER HERE
4) South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Competition
South Dakota FAST Launch encourages and supports entrepreneurs to participate in the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Competition, which has a winning business award of $20,000. The South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Competition allows participants to compete for cash awards, present to investors and connect with potential customers. The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosts this competition.
Learn More about the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Competition.
5) SBIR/STTR Support
Participants should apply for SBIR/STTR funding to grow and advance their business. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), are known as America’s Seed Fund. SBIR is the largest source of early-stage funding for American small businesses to advance promising technologies that address national problems in the fields of advanced manufacturing, health care, food production and safety, cybersecurity and more.
Learn More about SBIR/STTR support opportunities.
Introductions to the program will be held at a series of regional meetings in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Madison, Brookings, Vermillion and Mission. Check back for updates and additions to this list.
Innovation Expo, Thursday, October 14, 2021 REGISTER HERE
*To be eligible for the SD FAST Launch funds an entrepreneur or business must register and participate in a bootcamp in November. They can participate in the DSU launch program and include funding for the registration cost in their customer discovery application. However, applicants are not required to do the launch program.
South Dakota FAST Launch is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.