2014 Launch Pad Finalists



Samuel Giles - Managing Director, Intellectual Capital Consulting Ltd.


From Samsung to Sony to Apple, the smart-watch era has arrived. The patented Blackhawk Smartwatch Remote Engine Starter introduces an elegant connected-car solution for auto enthusiasts. The fashion-forward smart watch represents an outward expression of auto enthusiasts' passion for their vehicles. Incorporating both sophisticated hardware and software, the Blackhawk RES merges the essence of Silicon Valley and Detroit, while carving out a novel niche.


Samuel Giles is a registered United States patent agent and received his technical training in physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition, Giles received his bachelors in information systems and MBA from the University of Toledo. Drawing on his experience of university technology transfer and business development, he develops strategic patent portfolios that position the Blackhawk RES to remain a force in the aftermarket industry for years to come.



Ian Lehn - President, BOOSTane Octane Engineering


Taking inspiration from his stepfather, who sparked a love for the automotive aftermarket, Ian Lehn began to flourish as an innovator in the mechanical engineering classrooms of Georgia Tech, claiming the top prize for the school's most prestigious competition three years running. The contest required creation and construction of an indirect drive system for human transportation, and Lehn won with three different designs. During his final year in school, Lehn recognized problems associated with fuel-octane reliability, race fuel accessibility and the general effectiveness of octane boosters. He developed an affordable alternative to racing fuel and started BOOSTane, which has since undergone seven years of formulation and testing. The product was developed with a certain demographic in mind-individuals who want to restore lost octane points and stabilize the harmful effects of ethanol to protect their engines.


Sarah Park - Co-founder & President, The Hybrid Haven


Sarah Park studied the cognitive sciences at the University of California Irvine, where she developed a passion for learning about human motivation and societal change. Before co-founding the Hybrid Haven, she worked in business development and brand marketing at Nippon Oil Co., where she was immersed in the oil and energy fields, and the automotive aftermarket. At the 2013 SEMA Show, Park met her business partner Edward Rueda, a veteran Toyota master technician and one of the first to work extensively with hybrid vehicles. Rueda had already opened his own repair shop, called "The Hybrid Haven." Now, with Park's help, the company will offer its business model, hybrid/EV service, diagnostic know-how, access to national parts and supply networks, marketing exposure and other valuable resources to independent repair shop owners in a franchise package. The company's goal is to become a catalyst in the automotive industry by creating the aftermarket service and resource infrastructure for hybrid and EVs.



Roger Peterson - Founder & CEO, MG Research LLC

MG Research LLC (MGR) focuses on innovation in marketing channel research and analytics. As its core methodology, MGR develops and employs proprietary web 3.0 applications to achieve high-quality market research in the specialty-equipment industry. In its capacity as a consumer research start up, MGR will work to solve immediate research needs.

Through its proprietary mobile app (The Enthusiast App), MG Research will solve a growing information source deficit among end users by introducing the world's first mobile specialty-parts search engine. This search engine matches specialty parts to users, their vehicles and their customization preferences. MGR will deliver primary research data to specialty-parts manufacturers and their distribution networks in real time. The company believes that by making access to good information accessible, it can help contribute to the growth of the specialty-equipment industry.



Jack Zampolin - Vice President of Business Development, RightPSI Inc.

Jack Zampolin is the vice president of business development at RightPSI-manufacturer of a patented tire cap that shows if a tire is over- or under-inflated. Users can also pump directly into the cap and use it as a gauge while pumping, eliminating the need for a traditional tire gauge. The caps fit all cars, trucks, motorcycles and any other tire with a Schrader valve, and are produced in a wide range of PSI levels. Zampolin's role includes sales, distributor relations, marketing and PR. He also led the charge on a successful Kickstarter campaign last spring. Zampolin is a newcomer to the automotive aftermarket and is passionate about well-made products. He is very excited to bring RightPSI to a wider audience.

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