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YEN Launches the Next Young Automotive Entrepreneur

By Bryan Harrison

YEN's first-ever “SEMA Launch Pad” contest offers executive-level innovators under the age of 40 an industry platform to showcase their business plan for marketing a new automotive product or service.

The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) celebrates young entrepreneurs by announcing the first-ever “SEMA Launch Pad” contest. This new competition offers executive-level innovators under the age of 40 an industry platform to showcase their business plan for marketing a new automotive product or service.

Through this competition, five finalists will have their business plans peer-reviewed by industry leaders at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The grand-prize winner will receive a package of advertising tools to help take their business to the next level. The participant’s company will win an array of prizes, including a 10x10-ft. booth at the 2014 SEMA Show, an ad in Hot Rod or 4 Wheel & Off Road magazine, a Family Events sponsorship package and more. Even if you don’t win the grand prize, you and your company may be promoted to thousands of industry professionals curious to learn more about your innovative product or service.


  • The company’s leading executive (company president, CEO or owner) is the participant on behalf of the company. As a YEN member (under age 40), you, the executive, will complete the online application and submit a three-minute video detailing your company’s innovative product or service.
  • Your brief video will be reviewed by the YEN Task Force, from which the top 10 candidates will be selected.
  • The 10 candidates will be reduced to five, according to which ones receive the most “like” votes via a YEN Facebook page campaign this summer.
  • The five candidates will be invited to participate in a live peer review presentation at the 2013 SEMA Show.
  • The SEMA Show judges will select the winning YEN executive.

Key deadlines:

  • Three-minute video and application due by June 11, 2013.
  • Top 10 candidates’ submissions posted on the YEN Facebook page. Facebook voting campaign runs from July 29, 2013, to September 5, 2013. The five candidates with the most “like” votes proceed to the contest finals.
  • Top five candidates make a live, 10-minute presentation to the panel of judges at the SEMA Show.

Basic Requirements:

  • Participants must be a YEN member (under 40 years old on November 8, 2013) and a legal resident of the United States. Not a YEN member? Become one now.
  • YEN member’s company must be a SEMA member. Not a SEMA member? Become one now.
  • YEN member’s company must qualify to exhibit at the 2013 SEMA Show (but does not have to exhibit).
  • The automotive product or service competing in the SEMA Launch Pad contest must be functioning and currently for sale. No concepts accepted.
  • The top five YEN participants will travel to the SEMA Show at their own expense to compete in the live event. The YEN participant must make the presentation before the SEMA Show judges (no substitutes).
  • All taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize-winning company. Tax liability is based on the value of the prizes.
  • By participating in the contest, the YEN participant certifies that he/she has ownership rights to the trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents and any other intellectual property rights or proprietary information of the company and product/service being marketed, or authorization from the owner of such rights.

It’s time to launch the next Young Automotive Entrepreneur. For more information and to fill out the application, visit www.sema.org/launch-pad. If you have questions, please contact Bryan Harrison, SEMA's senior manager of councils, at BryanH@sema.org.