Mines News

Release Date Monday, April 29, 2019

SD Mines Students Keep Up Winning Streak at Governor’s Giant Vision Awards Business Competition

Mark Rotert and John Parker Chandler IV, with their company Tornado Aerodynamic Solutions, LLC, took home 1st place at the 2019 Governor's Giant Vision Awards Competition. 

RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 29, 2019) – For the fifth year in a row, students from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology took home first place in the student division of the Governor’s Giant Vision Awards Business Competition. 

Mines student teams swept the first through fourth places in the student division. This year SD Mines competitors won $19,000 in prize money at the Giant Vision competition to put toward their businesses. 

Tornado Aerodynamic Solutions, a company started by students Mark Rotert and John Chandler, earned the top spot in the competition, taking home $5,000. Tornado Aerodynamic Solutions aims to improve fuel economy via aerodynamics on automobiles and trucks with a focus on agriculture. The company’s flagship product is TwisTech, a vortex generator that reduces drag on cars and semis. The product can increase miles per gallon on cars by up to 10% and trucks by 7%.  

Rotert and Chandler also won the CEO Business Plan Competition at SD Mines, held in December 2018, and the Braun Student Inventor Award in April 2019. All SD Mines teams who competed in the CEO Business Plan Competition at Mines won prize money at the Giant Vision competition.   

At this year’s Giant Vision, second place went to SD Mines student William Trevillyan for his business, HomeMetrics. Trevillyan won last year’s Mines CEO Business Plan Competition and the Governor’s Giant Vision. Trevillyan received $4,000 for this year’s placing at Giant Vision.  

Third place went to Justin Schroeder for his business, Antier Skateboards. He was awarded $3,000. Fourth place went to Anahita Haghizadeh for the business, SunUp. Haghizadeh was awarded $2,000

In the open division, SD Mines student Joey Brown won fourth place and $3,000 for the business, AmmoNyte; while Mines student Marit Johnson took home fifth place and $2,000 for her business, Life Excel.

This annual competition is held in conjunction with the annual Governor’s Office of Economic Development Conference. Each competitor presents their business idea to a panel of judges.

In another victory for Mines, in March a student team earned first place in the USD Business Plan competition for their business, Grade Gains, earning $2,000. Grade Gains LLC is a peer-to-peer tutoring platform. 


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, (605) 394-2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu