By Ashley Reyes
As part of SEMA’s commitment to inspire and help start-ups and aspiring companies succeed, the association hosts a product pitching competition known as Launch Pad. The competition is a unique opportunity that helps businesses and entrepreneurs introduce new automotive-related products to the marketplace. Here are five great benefits to submitting a Launch Pad application at www.sema.org/launchpad.
The SEMA Launch Pad competition is a unique opportunity that helps businesses and entrepreneurs introduce new automotive-related products to the marketplace.
1. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime
Many entrepreneurs dream of going to the SEMA Show. After pouring their passion into creating a product that enhances how enthusiasts customize their vehicles, it’s their goal to ultimately share that innovation with the world.
Fifteen semifinalists will win a complimentary booth to exhibit their product at the 2022 SEMA Show. As the industry's most anticipated in-person business event, showcasing a product at the SEMA Show is a brilliant way to reach thousands of potential buyers and business partners from all over the world.
2. Engage with key industry influencers
The competition is the “Shark Tank” of the specialty-equipment industry. Participants share their inventions with industry leaders serving as judges, in hopes of convincing them that their product has what it takes to change the course of automotive history. Judges provide candid feedback and guidance, which can be leveraged to enhance a competitors’ product innovation and improve their go-to-market strategy.
3. Increased product exposure
Exposure of participants’ new products will be promoted on SEMA websites, social media and in online and print publications for the duration of the competition. By bringing emerging inventors to the forefront, SEMA Launch Pad participants gain product exposure that will help them take their new creations to the next level.
4. Opportunity to fill an existing need in the automotive aftermarket
Whether the product aims to make a vehicle go faster, operate safer or look cooler, any product that has the potential to positively impact the future of the aftermarket industry can enter. Past products selected for SEMA Launch Pad have been selected from segments such as vehicle technology, safety, restyling, wheel and tire, and truck and off-road.
5. Chance to win grand prize-package valued up to $92,000
The top five candidates will pitch their business ideas on stage to a panel of judges at the 2022 SEMA Show, where the ultimate winner will be selected. First place winner will receive a grand-prize package valued up to $92,000, which includes a $75,000 cash prize to be used for the benefit for their business.
SEMA Launch Pad is the premier product-pitching competition for budding entrepreneurs in the automotive aftermarket industry and is open to business owners or company-leading executives (president, CEO, CFO, COO, or vice president) over the age of 18. Applicants must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept, or currently for sale.
Applications to participate in SEMA Launch Pad must be submitted online at www.sema.org/launchpad by June 13.