South Dakota FAST Launch

Early 2024 South Dakota FAST Launch Registration
The South Dakota FAST Launch program is designed to assist South Dakota entrepreneurs with beginning their businesses through workshops and potential market research funding or seed capital. Businesses may also compete in the Governor’s Giant Vision Competition or for SBIR/STTR funding.

MARCH 2024 NOTE: We have received so many great applications and have used up all funding for early 2024. We are applying for additional grant funding and will announce when, and if, it might be available.


"Fast Track has been the conduit for multiple connections across the state. They have helped foster a community which has sparked what I believe to be the next great innovation coming out of South Dakota above and beyond the one we applied for. The group is kind, caring and compassionate. They have helped us think outside the box and pushed us to a space where we were able to give out $20,000 worth of SD focused grants to people wanting to become a peer specialist (a person in recovery who helps others on their recovery path.) We are so grateful.” 

- Past FAST Launch Program Attendee


Applications for funding consideration must meet the following requirements:

  • A tech-based, scalable company, or

  • A company pursuing additional funding which enables the business to move forward, such as the Giant Vision Competition or capital investments.
  • NOTE: Applicants That Have Not Attended The Great Plains i-Core Must Attend Boot Camp (virtually or in person) To Apply And Complete Customer Discovery. Applicant Is Then Eligible To Apply For Implementation Funds.

Great Plains I-Corps graduate teams can omit Steps 1 and 2 and apply for Write A Business Plan without attending Business Bootcamp and Completed Customer Discovery.

GPiC Learn More

STEP 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.

Business Bootcamp – A Seven-hour Crash Course in Starting a Business

  • February 3 & 10 (Saturdays)    8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. each day
  • March 5, 6, & 7 (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)   2:30-5 p.m. each day
  • April 6 & April 13 (Saturdays) 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. each day
  • July 20 & 27 (Saturdays) 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. each day
  • August 6, 7, & 8 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day

STEP 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

  • February 6 (Tuesday)   3:30-5 p.m.
  • February 15 (Thursday)  4-5:30 p.m.
  • February 27 (Tuesday)   3:30-5 p.m.
  • March 26 (Tuesday) 4 - 5:30 p.m.
  • March 28  (Thursday)11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • April 15 (Monday) 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • April 27 (Saturday) 8:30 - 10 a.m.
  • May 22 (Wednesday) 1 - 2:30 p.m.
  • July 16 (Tuesday) 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • July 17 (Wednesday) 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Customer Discovery Application


STEP 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 Registration Available After Attending Business Bootcamp and Completed Customer Discovery (DATES: one session)

  • February 8 (Thursday)  4-5 p.m.
  • February 15 (Thursday)  5:45-6:45 p.m.
  • February 29 (Thursday)  4-5 p.m.
  • April 2 (Tuesday) 3 - 4:30 p.m.
  • April 3 (Wednesday) 3 - 4:30 p.m.
  • April 27 (Saturday) 10:15 a.m. - Noon
  • May 22 (Wednesday) 3 - 5 p.m.

Business Plan Implementation Application


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.

Customer Discovery and Business Plan workshops by appointment for those who want that information.

Learn More about the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Competition.


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.

South Dakota FAST Launch is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

*As part of the grant process, those who submit an application for the FAST Launch Grant will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
The Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program provides funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration to organizations to execute state/regional programs that increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals leading to an increase in the number of SBIR/STTR awards from women, socially/economically disadvantaged individuals, and small businesses in underrepresented areas - typically rural states. FAST awards build the SBIR/STTR ecosystem through outreach, technical and business assistance, and financial support.

This agreement is made by and between the South Dakota FAST Launch Program & South Dakota entrepreneurs or small business entrant, hereinafter “ENTRANT” and the South Dakota FAST Launch Program hereinafter “SD FAST.”
Whereas, ENTRANT is the developer and owner of certain proprietary, confidential, trade secret, and other such information, which has a unique value, hereinafter “INFORMATION”; and
Whereas, ENTRANT is willing to disclose certain INFORMATION to SD FAST for the limited purpose of applying for customer discover or business plan implementation support sponsored by SD FAST; and
Whereas, ENTRANT is willing to disclose INFORMATION to SD FAST only upon the SD FAST’s acknowledgement of ENTRANT’S ownership of said INFORMATION and agreement to maintain as confidential and not disclosed.
Now there, in consideration of ENTRANT’s disclosure of the INFORMATION and the other terms and covenants contained in THIS AGREEMENT, the parties agree as follows:
The INFORMATION, as used herein shall mean all information, designs, diagrams, samples, documents, plans, ideas and concepts clearly marked as confidential by ENTRANT.
SD FAST acknowledges the INFORMATION as proprietary and confidential. SD FAST agrees to hold and keep the INFORMATION in confidence, and use all reasonable care to limit dissemination of the INFORMATION and to prevent disclosure of the INFORMATION to others, and to use such INFORMATION only in connection with the SD FAST Launch Program. Access to the INFORMATION while in the possession of SD FAST will be restricted to persons having a need to know related to proposal reviewers and clerical personnel. SD FAST agrees to require any person not on mentioned in the SBA FAST Grant application to execute and file with SD FAST a nondisclosure agreement in the form and style to this agreement as Exhibit A.
SD FAST agrees that the INFORMATION may not be used, developed, modified, produced or exploited by SD FAST without the express prior written consent of ENTRANT. SD FAST acknowledges that its unauthorized use of the INFORMATION will constitute a breach of THIS AGREEMENT.
Recipients of financial support from SD FAST will be responsible for any tax and/or tax consequences of the award. If chosen as an awardee, ENTRANT grants SD FAST the right, without compensation, to publish awardee names and company names, non-financial information, photographs, and video and audio recordings for editorial, public relations, promotional and advertising materials. All decision made by the reviewers on all matters relating to the SD FAST program will be final.  This program reserves the unrestricted right to interpret these rules and to alter, amend or change them at its discretion.
ENTRANT attests that the ideas/concepts presented in the application are their own and not under any agreement or restrictions prohibiting their ability to disclose ideas or plans.
No rights in or license of the INFORMATION, expressed or implied, are granted to SD FAST by THIS AGREEMENT.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties and supersedes all prior oral or written agreements, representations, statements, negotiations, understandings, proposals and undertakings with respect to the subject matter hereof.

Exhibit A
I accept my appointment as a reviewer in the SD FAST Launch Program.
I agree and undertake as a condition of my appointment as follows:
I certify that I have read the aforesaid Confidentiality Agreement between the parties.
All information marked confidential and contained in the entries to the Competition shall be treated by me as privileged and confidential.
Without limiting the generality of the above, I further agree:
Not to pass on to any third party any materials marked confidential.
To refrain from communicating or disseminating to any third party the contents of any information I receive that is marked confidential.
To ensure that any information given to me and marked confidential (e.g., case studies/results) is safeguarded and kept confidential and seen only by me.

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