DWU senior selected for Governor’s Giant Vision Student Business Competition

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Photo of Jamie McGowan

PIERRE—A Dakota Wesleyan University senior, Jamie McGowan, White River, South Dakota, is one of nine student competitors statewide chosen for the 2021 Governor’s Giant Vision Business and Student Business Competition. 

McGowan will promote his company Audacia, maker of stylish and quality travel bags.  Other student competitors are from the University of South Dakota (4), South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (3) and South Dakota State University (1).

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

The nine student entrepreneurs have advanced 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 10:00 a.m. until noon.

In addition to the student division, six business ventures will compete for a top prize of $20,000.

Events on 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.

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 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.) Student Competition sponsors: Citibank N.A. and SD EPSCoR. Business Competition sponsors: Black Hills Energy, Christiansen Land & Cattle, Ltd., Dacotah Bank, First PREMIER Bank, MidAmerican Energy Company, Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Wheeler Manufacturing and Xcel Energy.