By Ashley Reyes
The SEMA Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) presents a Live Chat featuring 2017 SEMA Launch Pad winner Tom Burden of Grypmat. Join Burden on ETTN’s Facebook page, Tuesday, May 5, at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) as he answers your questions about research and competitive analysis in product development and what strategies he has used for continued success in his business.
Research and competitive analysis can be a great tool, but can also steer businesses away from authenticity and discourage them from taking the leap that they want to take. During the Live Chat, Burden will discuss his insight on the importance of authenticity and demonstrate how Grypmat has used research and competitive analysis to research other businesses in different industries, using his findings to put his own unique spin on his product.
In 2013, as an enlisted Air Force member, Burden struggled with his tools sliding off an F-16 fighter jet while working as a mechanic. He decided that this was a problem worth solving and began experimenting. After prototyping for three years, Burden built a product that not only solved his problem on the fighter jet but also improved the experience of mechanics around the world—the Grypmat.
The Grypmat started in aviation, but Burden was eager to break into the automotive industry. Since winning first place at the 2017 SEMA Launch Pad competition, the Grypmat has been used by companies such as Google, NASA, and Virgin Orbit, and has been growing rapidly in DIY, boating, motorcycle and the medical industry.
To date, Burden has closed on a combo deal on “Shark Tank” with Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and Sir Richard Branson. More than half a million Grypmats have been sold across the globe in more than 150 countries. The Grypmat has been on the cover of Time magazine for being one of the top 50 inventions of the year, and Burden has been named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30. With the Grypmat, Burden is now focusing on the automotive industry by diving into submarkets such as racing, off roading and classic cars.
Don’t miss out on your chance to communicate directly with Burden, Tuesday, May 5, at 12:00 p.m. on ETTN’s Facebook page.