YEN Looking to Educate and Empower at the 2017 SEMA Show

By Kirstin Stone

  YEN Launch Pad
The SEMA Launch Pad will be held Monday, October 30, at the Westgate Theater in Las Vegas. Ten finalists will compete for a grand prize designed to launch a new automotive aftermarket product.

The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) has continued to not only grow its membership of young automotive professionals but also to improve upon and create new programs for its members. As the 2017 SEMA Show approaches, YEN is excited to announce the opportunities that young professionals have to connect with each other and YEN’s leadership during the week of the Show.

SEMA Launch Pad, the Next Great Business

The SEMA Launch Pad program is moving dates and locations this year and is expecting to triple its attendance. Young entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas from 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Monday, October 30. The event will be held one day before the SEMA Show officially opens, and it’s moving to the Theater in the Westgate Resort & Casino.

Attendees will witness the premier automotive aftermarket business competition for young entrepreneurs. After screening more than 100 qualified applicants, the contest has been narrowed down to the top 10 contestants, who will participate in the live event. Each contestant has a new automotive product or service that he or she will pitch to a panel of iconic industry judges, who will decide the ultimate winner for the 2017 program.

Designed to take a business and product to the next level, the grand prize includes opportunities for marketing and exposure through industry media outlets, a turnkey SEMA Show booth for 2018, access to business tools and resources, and so much more.

Creating Profitable Content, Presented by YEN


How do you measure creative content for your brand? Whether you are a creative in the marketing department, a business owner, or just interested in where digital advertising dollars go, this is the seminar for you. It will be held from 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Tuesday, October 31, in room N256 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Moderated by last year’s SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year Jonathan Mill, a panel of industry experts will delve into the creation of digital content, how to effectively market it, and how to quantify its profitability. The panelists will include:

Brian Scotto Evan Perkins Cory Burns  
Brian Scotto, the co-founder and chief creative officer of Hoonigan Industries and the director of the Gymkhana series. Scotto was previously the founder and editor-in-chief of I magazine. Evan Perkins, editor-in-chief of The Enthusiast Network (TEN), a transmedia network of enthusiast brands spanning multiple channels of the automotive industry.  Cory Burns, an account supervisor at the Kahn Media PR and content marketing firm. Burns represents brands such as MagnaFlow, Dinan Cars, Red Line Oil and more.  

This is a must-attend event for any automotive entrepreneur or those who enjoy seeing innovation at work and new products hitting the market. However, don’t worry if you can’t make the live event: All 10 finalists will be exhibiting with a kiosk-style booth in the Performance Pavilion Tuesday through Friday during Show hours (location subject to change). The contestants will be able to explain their products and answer any questions about their experience with the SEMA Launch Pad.

YEN Reception

YEN is hosting its annual reception at the 2017 SEMA Show on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (location to be determined). This dynamic event is a great networking opportunity and is highly anticipated among the industry’s young professionals. Come out for an evening of food, drinks and connecting with other young professionals in the industry.

YEN select committee members will be on hand to discuss opportunities to get more involved in the network’s initiatives, and the event will honor top young professionals for their outstanding accomplishments within the industry. The network names one leading professional as Young Executive of the Year and celebrates an individual who actively supports young people in the industry by presenting the YEN Vanguard award.

This YEN event allows young automotive professionals and those who mentor them a chance to interact with the industry’s youngest and most enthusiastic movers and shakers.

YEN General Membership Meeting and Mixer

YEN is holding a general membership meeting and networking opportunity from 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., October 30, the day before the opening of the SEMA Show. This is great opportunity to catch up with fellow YENsters and hear updates on the latest network initiatives from the select committee. If you are not a member, this event serves as the perfect opportunity to mingle with network leadership, learn about the benefits of a YEN membership, and join at no cost.

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