By Ashley Reyes
SEMA is seeking entrepreneurs and inventors who have the next big automotive-related product or accessory. Through the SEMA Launch Pad, those with a functioning automotive-related product that will hit or has recently hit the market are invited to submit their 2021 SEMA Launch Pad applications for a chance to win a prize package valued at up to $92,000.
Since 2013, the program has helped entrepreneurs launch their products into the marketplace, providing them with cash prizes, next-level marketing opportunities, access to business tools and resources and more.
Originally created to support emerging entrepreneurs under the age of 40, this year’s program does not have an age cap and is open to qualified individuals 18 and over. The prizes have also increased to include a grand-prize package valued up to $92,000, cash awarded to the top three finalists and featured video interviews promoting dozens of applicants on SEMA’s social media networks.
Fifteen semi-finalists will also be selected to attend the 2021 SEMA Show in November, where the top five will pitch their products to a panel of industry judges and be recognized at the industry’s premier celebration—the SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet.
”Before going through the Launch Pad program, I wasn”t even a blip on the industry's radar,” recalls Jonathan Mill, who won the first-ever SEMA Launch Pad competition for this product the E-Stopp Emergency Brake. “After winning it, my product, career and network skyrocketed. All because I chose to get involved with SEMA.”
Past products included have been selected from segments such as vehicle technology, restyling, truck and off-road and more, although the program is not limited to any product that has the potential to positively impact the future of the aftermarket industry.
To qualify, applicants must be a business owner, company-leading executive (president, CEO, CFO, COO) or vice president of a company, and must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept or currently for sale. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2021.