Beacom School of Business Small Business Development Center

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S.D. Giant Vision Competition


Thomas Renner
Thomas M. Renner

USD Student Wins First in Student Competition

Thomas M. Renner, a USD student, was the recipient of the first place prize of $5,000 for his invention at the 2012 Governor's Giant Vision Business and Student Competition.  USD student Joel DeJongh from Rock Rapids, Iowa was the recipient of the third place in the student division garnering a prize of $2,500 for DeJongh Manufacturing. The competition is sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce and the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED). 

Remote Grain Moisture Sensor Invention

Renner of Hibbing, Minn. received top honors for "Remote Grain Moisture Sensor," a remote sensor device that can read moisture levels and the temperature of stored grain. According to Renner's product description, sensors, placed in an empty grain bin prior to filling, would measure moisture levels and grain temperatures. Farmers would be able to access this information using wireless technology.

SBDC Assists Contestants

The SBDC assisted six of the top seven contestants (non-student division). "Our record of assisting entrepreneurs to success in the Giant Vision contest is a great testimonial to the quality of work done by Small Business Development Center counselors across the state and our entrepreneur program on campus," noted Michael J. Keller, dean of the Beacom School of Business. "The SBDC has been managed by the Beacom School of Business for 25 years and is an outstanding aid to South Dakota businesses. Not only did USD deliver multiple winners in the student division we helped, through the SBDC offices, most of the winning competitors in the non-student division."

Award Presentation

The awards were presented as part of the Governor's Office of Economic Development banquet with Governor Dennis Daugaard presenting the top prizes in both competitions. "The goal of this program is to encourage people to explore being a business owner and to create an exciting future while also expanding South Dakota's economy. We have worked hard to produce an event that will benefit all of the businesses participating. While the prize money will help the finalists, the contacts and rigor required to be a qualifier will prepare each entrepreneur to advance their business idea," said David Owen, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry President.

The Governor's Giant Vision Business Awards and Governor's Giant Vision Student Awards, held annually in April, were established to help citizens realize that South Dakota is a great 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.