By SEMA Editors
The SEMA Launch Pad provides innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform at the SEMA Show to present a product idea to a panel of industry experts. Prior to the 2017 SEMA Show, applicants were narrowed down from 15 semi-finalists to 10 finalists via a social-media voting campaign. The judges selected Tom Burden as the winner of the 2017 Launch Pad competition.
Named the winner for 2017, Tom Burden received a prize package to help launch his business to the next level, including a booth at next year’s SEMA Show to formally introduce his Grypmat tool mat to the industry and a $10,000 award to be used for the benefit of the business. He will also appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” November 12. Launch Pad, presented by the Young Executives Network (YEN), gives young innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs a platform on which to pitch their businesses to a panel of iconic industry judges and receive coaching.
Each of the top contestants will also have their products on display throughout SEMA Show week in a dedicated Launch Pad Corral in the Performance Pavilion.
SEMA Launch Pad Finalists
- Mike Alexander, president/owner—FLO Airride Manufacturing
- Carl Borkholder, owner—Gen-Y Industries
- Tom Burden, CEO/founder—Grypshon Industries LLC
- Matt Corish, co-founder—V12LS.com
- Gregor Hanuschak, founder—Smack Innovations
- Ben Horst, president—Eddy Motorworks
- Brian Pierce, CTO—Delicious Tuning
- Irina Slavina, COO—HUDWAY
- Brock Templeman, president—Savior Products Inc.
- Edward Uehling, co-founder—King Tailgates LLC
Visit www.sema.org/sema_launchpad to learn more about these up-and-coming industry leaders.