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Don’t Miss SEMA Launch Pad Deadline April 14

By SEMA Editors

Launch PadThe top five vote-getters will earn a chance to pitch their products during the SEMA Launch Pad Live event, November 4, at the 2019 SEMA Show.

Young entrepreneurs, students and business owners looking for an opportunity introduce their products to the $43 billion specialty-equipment market are encouraged to apply for the SEMA Launch Pad program, presented by the Young Executives Network (YEN). The deadline to enter the 2019 SEMA Launch Pad and compete for a top prize that includes $10,000 and exhibit space at the SEMA Show is April 14.

“Since 2013, the SEMA Launch Pad program has given more than 200 young entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of experts and a chance to bring their groundbreaking product ideas into the automotive aftermarket,” said Nathan Ridnouer, SEMA vice president of councils and membership. “We’re excited to see a new group of young leaders and innovative products emerge from this year’s program.”

Fifteen applicants will be awarded complimentary admission to the 2019 SEMA Show, as well as registration and airfare (up to $500) to attend the SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas—a two-day conference in June for exhibitors. 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 2019 SEMA Show, with the top five vote-getters earning a chance to pitch their products during the SEMA Launch Pad Live event, November 4, at the SEMA Show.

“The top five finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of iconic industry judges, who will determine the winner of the top prize of $10,000, a turnkey exhibit space with premium placement at the 2020 SEMA Show, free promotional support and more,” said Ridnouer. “SEMA Launch Pad is an amazing opportunity to help bring a product to market and create business exposure."

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.

To apply or for more information, visit before April 14.

2019 Prize Packages


  • The finalist, top 10 and semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • $10,000 to be used for the benefit of your business
  • Turnkey exhibit space with premium placement at the 2020 SEMA Show*
  • One full-page, four-color advertisement in SEMA News magazine
  • Up to three hours of free custom scanning services at the SEMA Garage
  • SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Network: Distribution/sales support consultation meeting

FINALISTS PRIZE: Five Competitors

The top 10 and semi-finalist prizes plus:

  • Invitation to pitch at the live event for the grand prize held on November 4.
  • SEMA Data Co-op: 50% off supplier monthly membership fees for your first year (up to a maximum of 10 SKU’s). New Prize for 2019!
  • One ½-page, four-color advertisement in SEMA News. New Prize for 2019!
  • One Live Chat on YEN’s Facebook page about how you started the business and your experience at Launch Pad. New Prize for 2019!

TOP TEN: 10 participants

  • The semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • Complimentary 2019 SEMA Show "Kiosk" Booth*
  • Two exhibitor passes to the SEMA Show
  • Two tickets to the SEMA Banquet
  • One-hour mentoring session with an industry leader
  • Widespread awareness of your brand and business

SEMI-FINALISTS PRIZE: 15 participants

  • One-year SEMA membership.
  • Complimentary registration to the 2019 Exhibitor Summit, two nights of hotel and meals at the event (June 18–19)
  • $500 award to be used toward flight cost to the 2019 Exhibitor Summit.
  • License to use the SEMA-filmed pitch video on company marketing deliverables.
  • Widespread awareness of your business through SEMA communication channels

*All taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize-winning company. Tax liability is based on the value of the prizes. All prize winners must complete a W-9 in order to receive a prize.

**No changes are permitted to the booth layout. Company does not accrue SEMA Show seniority points by reason of exhibiting at a 2019 SEMA Show “Kiosk” Booth in New Products Showcase Area or the “Turnkey” Exhibit Space with Premium Placement in the 2020 SEMA Show.

Learn more: Terms & Conditions.