South Dakota Fast Launch Is Back

Fall 2022 & Early Spring 2023 Training Schedule

Reservations required for each training session. To reserve a spot, e-mail with information on the date, title of workshop, preference for in-person or on-line (Zoom) instruction and your name and contact information. We also have numerous other workshops that are not listed here. We may offer them in the future. If you would like a specific workshop, please contact us and let us know. Additionally, we offer one-on-one consulting to help with your business needs. Feel free to contact us.

FAST Launch  (In-person or On-line)

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 25, 2023 as well as other business competitions.

Bootcamp is the first workshop in the series and is then followed by customer discovery and business planning. Bootcamp is an intensive seven-hour workshop that combines eight weeks of material on lean methodology, business model canvas, and other business processes to introduce the concepts to anyone interested in starting a business, non-profit, or internal organizational project. This is the outline version of Launch Lab. For those interested in more instruction and mentoring in the concepts of Bootcamp, please sign-up for Launch Lab.

Customer Discovery teaches people communication techniques and question development for effective primary research on the business concept’s viability and eventually potential features.

Business Planning teaches people the basics of a summary business plan and financial information. The format for the Governor’s Giant Vision Competition will be used.

Each session of Bootcamp, Customer Discovery, or Business Planning presents the same material, so only one session is needed. Please select a preference for in-person instruction or on-line instruction. In-person sessions are held at the Entrepreneurial Building at Dakota State University, 1400 N. Washington Avenue, Madison, SD 57042. On-line participants will be provided a Zoom (or other) link for the session. Instructor: Katherine Cota M.A., M.B.A., Director of Economic Development


October 26 & 28 (Wednesday and Friday) : 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day     

December 6, 7, & 8 (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) : 2:30-5 p.m. each day

December 17 (Saturday) : 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

February 11 (Saturday) : 8:30 a.m-4 p.m.

Customer Discovery

November 1 (Tuesday) : 3:30-5 p.m.

November 2 (Wednesday) : 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

November 3 (Thursday) : 8:30-10 a.m.

November 4 (Friday) : 3-4:30 p.m.

December 15 (Thursday) : 3:30-5 p.m.

December 16 (Friday) :11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

January 21 (Saturday)  : 8:30-10 a.m.

January 31 (Tuesday) : 3:30-5 p.m.

February 2 (Thursday) : 3:30-5 p.m.

February 16 (Thursday) : 4-5:30 p.m.

Business Planning

November 8 (Tuesday) : 4-5 p.m.

November 9 (Wednesday) : Noon-1 p.m.

November 10 (Thursday) : 9-10 a.m.

January 21 (Saturday) : 10:15-11:15 a.m.

February 7 (Tuesday) : 4-5 p.m.

February 9 (Thursday) : 4-5 p.m.

February 16 (Thursday) : 5:45-6:45 p.m.

Launch Lab (In-person and On-line)

Launch Lab is a multi-week immersion into lean launch methodology and the business model canvas. Business ideas are developed through a process of hypothesis testing and validating through customer feedback. Assumptions are challenged weekly by evaluators/mentors and the business teams are guided by the course instructor. At the end of the process, the business team has a minimal viable product that has been market validated. Attendees register for the entire series of sessions. Attendees cannot take individual sessions since the material builds on the previous session.  Registration is required by the deadline before the first class session to allow the business team to do the required pre-work to be ready for the first class session. Instructor: Katherine Cota M.A., M.B.A., Director of Economic Development

Fall 2022

Wednesdays, October 12, 19, 26, November 2, and 9    
    4-6 p.m. class sessions

Wednesday, November 16 : Noon-1 p.m. final presentation and luncheon

End of February Governor’s Giant Vision Competition Submission Deadline

Spring 2023

Wednesday, December 14 : 5 p.m. deadline for registration; begin pre-work

Wednesday, January 4  :4-6 p.m. first class session

Wednesdays, January 11, 18, 25, February 1, and 8 : 4-6 p.m. class sessions

Wednesday, February 15 : Noon-1 p.m. final presentation and luncheon

End of February  Governor’s Giant Vision Competition Submission Deadline

Learn @ Lunch (On-line and In-person)

These are short workshops on topical areas important to businesses, organizations, and individuals. No dates have been set for this academic year. Dates are to be determined (TBD) or can be requested (on-demand). Instructor: Katherine Cota M.A., M.B.A., Director of Economic Development

TBD/On-Demand    Noon-12:50 p.m.    Personal Elevator Pitch

TBD/On-Demand    Noon-12:50 p.m.    Non-verbal Communication (abbreviated)

TBD/On-Demand    Noon-12:50 p.m.    Building a Great Company

Workshops (On-line and In-person)

These workshops provide practical information on various aspects of business or personal development. No dates have been set for this academic year. Dates are to be determined (TBD) or can be requested (on-demand). Instructor for Business Topics: Katherine Cota M.A., M.B.A., Director of Economic Development; Instructor for Accounting & Financial Statement Topics: Scott Morstad, J.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor of Accounting & Business Law

TBD     2 Hours        How to Start a Business    

TBD    2 Hours          Marketing Basics
TBD    2 Hours          Intellectual Property

TBD    1 ½ Hours      Fundamental Accounting Concepts & Related Financial  Statements

TBD    1 ½ Hours      Business Entities & Financial Statement Analysis

TBD    2 Hours          Sources of Funding & Pitching to Investors

TBD    2 Hours          Non-verbal Communication

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