SEMA Now Accepting Applications for Launch Pad Program

Mar 26, 2020

The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) is now accepting applications for the 2020 SEMA Launch Pad Program, a competition for young entrepreneurs who would like to launch their product into the $44.6 billion aftermarket industry.

Now in its seventh year, the program provides emerging business leaders the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of iconic industry judges and compete for a prize that includes $10,000 to be used for the benefit of their business, and exhibit space at the industry-leading SEMA Show.

“Our goal is to encourage and support young entrepreneurs in the automotive industry,” said Nathan Ridnouer, SEMA vice president of councils and membership. “We hope to identify emerging leaders who have amazing new ideas and products. We want to provide these young businesses with the support and resources to help them succeed.”

Fifteen applicants will be selected to receive a one-year membership to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), as well as one professional Launch Pad video to be hosted on the SEMA YouTube Channel. The 15 Launch Pad participants will learn new business strategies and film a short video that will be used for an online voting competition.

The public will be able to view the 15 videos online and cast their votes for the business they would like to advance to the next round. From there, 10 finalists will receive a complimentary kiosk booth at the 2020 SEMA Show, with the Top 5 vote-getters earning a chance to pitch their products during the SEMA Launch Pad Live event Nov. 2 at the SEMA Show.

“SEMA Launch Pad competitors represent the most innovative and passionate emerging industry-leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Ridnouer. “As such, the public will be able to play a key role in the voting process and help determine what product or service consumers will find valuable.”

Applicants do not need to be members of SEMA or YEN to participate but must hold stake within the company. Students who meet the qualifications are invited to apply as well.

The deadline to apply is May 3. Click here to apply.