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No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, trucks or wheels and tires—there’s a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.
SEMA Launch Pad Finalists Announced
Dozens of industry innovators and entrepreneurs entered the running for the chance to present their new products/services to a judging panel made up of industry leaders at the fourth-annual SEMA Launch Pad, powered by YEN. The winner receives a grand-prize package to help launch his/her business to the next level, including a booth at next year’s SEMA Show to formally introduce their products/services to the industry.
More than 10,000 votes are in and the top-10 finalists have been determined. These young entrepreneurs will compete in the live event at the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Be sure to catch their pitches and see who will be named the 2016 Launch Pad winner on Wednesday, November 2, from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., in LVCC room N258.
In addition to the live competition, Show attendees can meet the contestants and ask questions about their products at the Launch Pad Corral, located in the New Products Showcase. The top-10 finalists will each have a kiosk-style booth where they will be on hand to dive into the details of their products/services and discuss potential partnerships.
Below are the top-10 finalists. Good luck, and we’ll see you in Vegas!
Aaron Aldrich, Any Level Lift
Aldrich is new to the automotive aftermarket industry, establishing Any Level Lift LLC earlier this year. He developed a passion for lifted trucks growing up in a small town in New York. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a mechanical engineering degree and normally designs servicing equipment for the U.S. Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers. However, after building and testing a prototype of the Any Level Lift and issuing three related patents, Aldrich decided to take a leave of absence to bring the Any Level Lift to market. He will debut the refined design at this year’s SEMA Show.
Richard Baverstock, Mogol Inc.
Richard Baverstock is the founder and CEO of Mogol Inc.—reimagining driving by bringing together navigation and topographical data to make drives smoother, more comfortable and efficient. His vision for Mogol came about as he was commuting to work and noticed that he could significantly improve his mileage just by making small changes in how he drove. Prior to Mogol, he led teams designing hardware at NVIDIA for a variety of multimedia, low power and automotive applications. He has a BASc from University of Waterloo with further studies at Stanford.
Matt Corish, V12LS.com
Matt Corish is an entrepreneur from Baltimore who has held executive roles in the manufacturing sector along with founding automotive and technology startups. He founded V12LS.com with his brother Shane—an accomplished engineer from Melbourne, Australia, in 2015. This is their second business venture together.
John Paul Gusewelle, Metal Conditioner2
John Paul Gusewelle
John Paul Gusewelle is co-founder and COO of Metal Conditioner Squared LLC—a position he has held since the company’s formation in 2013. Daily tasks can vary from production of MC², research and development, marketing, sales, domestic and international shipping and customer service. He has been successful in sales for 17 years, ranging alphabetically from automobiles at Dean Team Automotive to Zener diodes at RadioShack and everything in between. An inadvisable portion of his career earnings have been spent on his automotive passion in the form of cool vehicles and their never-ending modification.
Amanda Holbert, Plasma Glide LLC
Amanda Holbert is an award-winning entrepreneur and mentor from Tucson, Arizona. For the past 13 years, she has kept her boots to the ground as the president and co-owner of Elegant Iron—a prototype and design, metal fabrication, sandblasting and powder-coating firm. As a certified federal contractor, Holbert and her team overcame adversity during the recession to gain contracts and be awarded 2011 Manufacturer of the Year, 2012 Small Business Advocate of the Year and 2015 Woman Business Owner of the Year. This year has taken Holbert to new heights, as her new company, PlasmaGlide, competes as a finalist in the SEMA Launch Pad competition.
Bryce Hudson, Grip Clean
Bryce Hudson is a 26-year-old professional motocross athlete from Murrieta, California. He has acquired 3 XGames medals, been seen on nationwide TV commercials and was even featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2015.
Wesley Jurica, Gigabit Games
Wesley Jurica is a 36-year-old programmer with a passion for anything with wheels. At Gigabit Games, he does game design, coding and concept design, including the newest CrawlrCam product. Prior to CrawlrCam, Jurica and his brother, Patrick, created the apps ULTRA4 Off-Road Racing and Gigabit Off-Road, which have been downloaded more than 3 million times on iOS and Android devices. Gigabit Games’ mission is to share the innovative hardware and software products they are passionate about with markets all over the world.
Kevin Patrick, Exomotive
Kevin Patrick is the president of Exomotive. An Atlanta native and graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, he spent more than a decade working in software product management before quitting his day job to launch Exomotive in 2011. Now in its fifth year, Exomotive has sold more than 200 Exocet Sport, Exocet Race and Exocet Off-Road component vehicle kits. The Exocet has recently been featured in Jalopnik, Maxim, Road & Track and The Smoking Tire. The Exocet also won first place at the 2016 Grassroots Motorsports Ultimate Skidpad Challenge.
Sarah Powell, Turnberry Innovations
Sarah Powell is a supply-chain professional with a passion for innovative startups. Using her expertise in supply-chain and logistics, she oversees Corbox’s production and distribution capabilities so that Corbox can offer quality truck storage solutions that are manufactured in the United States. As a truck owner, she also helps with product development and testing. Corbox is committed to giving back to the community and donates 10% of its profits to charities that support veterans.
Irina Slavina, Hudway LLC
Irina Slavina is one of the co-founders of Hudway. She joined the company in 2014, when two original founders, Ivan Klabukov and Alex Ostanin, transferred operations from Russia to California and established company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. As a licensed attorney, Slavina handles legal and compliance work for the company and also serves as a company spokesperson. Prior to joining Hudway, she worked as a defense counsel at a litigation law firm in Los Angeles.
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