Startups and Entrepreneurs Receive Support From Industry Veterans

By Ashley Reyes

Reid Lunde
Reid Lunde, owner and founder of Kaizen Speed, was named
winner of the 2019 SEMA Launch Pad. The 2021 SEMA Launch
Pad competition is open to all qualified participants over the age
of 18 years, and includes a grand-prize package valued up to
$92,000 and promotional support.

Five finalists from the SEMA Launch Pad will compete at the SEMA Show, where they will pitch their product ideas to a panel of established industry professionals who serve as judges and mentors.

The SEMA Launch Pad is a product-pitching competition for inventors of automotive-related products. In addition to a chance to win a grand prize valued at $92,000, participants have an opportunity to showcase and pitch their products in front of a live audience during the SEMA Show.

For many past participants, getting feedback and hearing from established industry professionals is worth more than the prizes.

“Remember that just because you’re in love with it, doesn't mean it’s a good idea,” said Reid Lunde, who won the 2019 SEMA Launch Pad competition for the Kaizen Relay.  

As winner of the SEMA Launch Pad, Lunde advises that competitors prepare their pitches in advance. “The judges are looking for a combination of the right product, in the right person’s hands. They’re betting on you as much as they’re betting on the product. Be prepared with answers to questions, such as your sales, rollout plan and history. Have the story about why your product is necessary and why you worked so hard to breathe life into it.”

To apply for the 2021 Launch Pad competition, 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. Applications are being accepted until May 30.

Apply for SEMA Launch Pad.