Compete for a $25,000+ Grand Prize

  • Grand Prize includes $10,000 to be used for the benefit of your business, brand exposure, access to business resources, face time with key industry influencers and more!
  • The ultimate automotive competition for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-39.
  • Takes place at the world's largest B2B gathering, the SEMA Show.
  • Participants pitch their business idea to a panel of iconic industry judges at a live event.

2020 SEMA Launch Pad Application Now Open

Application closes May 3rd

--> Apply Now!

Prize Packages

GRAND PRIZE: 1 WINNER – Total Prize Value $25,000+

  • The finalist, top ten and semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • $10,000 to be used for the benefit of your business Value: $10,000.00
  • 10' x 10' Turn-key Exhibit Space with Premium Placement at the 2021 SEMA Show* Value: $2,695.00
  • One full-page, four-color advertisement in SEMA News magazine Value: $5002.25
  • Up to three hours of free custom scanning services at the SEMA Garage Value: $195.00
  • One-year Tech Transfer Subscription (must qualify) Value: $360.00

FINALISTS PRIZE: 5 COMPETITORS – Total Prize Value $7,000+

  • The top ten and semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • Invitation to pitch at the Live Event for the grand prize held on Nov. 2, 2020.
  • SEMA Data Co-op: 50% discount effective for the first year for the entry tier, up to 39 part numbers. Value: $594.00
  • One - ½ page, four color advertisement in SEMA News Magazine. Value: $3055.75
  • One Live Chat on YEN's Facebook page talking about how you started the business and experience at Launch Pad.

TOP TEN: 10 COMPETITORS – Total Prize Value $3,500+

  • The semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • Complimentary 2020 SEMA Show "Kiosk" Booth* Value: $2195.00*
  • Two exhibitor passes to the SEMA Show
  • Two tickets to the SEMA Banquet Value: $100.00
  • Onsite Lead Retrieval Tool Value: $490.00
  • One-hour mentoring session with an industry leader
  • Widespread awareness of your brand and business


  • One-year SEMA Membership. • $500 award to be used toward flight cost to the 2020 Exhibitor Summit. Value: $500.00
  • Complimentary registration to the 2020 Exhibitor Summit, 2 nights of hotel and meals at the event (June 24 & June 25)
  • $500 award to be used toward flight cost to the 2019 Exhibitor Summit. Value: $500.00
  • License to use the SEMA-filmed pitch video on company marketing deliverables.
  • Widespread awareness of your business through SEMA communication channels
  • One-year SEMA Council Membership of your choice. Value: $150.00
  • One professional Launch Pad video to be hosted on the SEMA YouTube Channel.

All award taxes are the sole responsibility of the award-winning company. Tax liability is based on the value of the prizes. All award winners must complete a W-9 in order to receive a prize.

*No changes are permitted to the booth layout. Company does not accrue SEMA Show seniority points by reason of exhibiting at a 2020 SEMA Show kiosk booth in the New Products Showcase area or the turn-key exhibit space with premium placement at the 2020 SEMA Show.

**SEMA membership dues are based on business type and annual sales, ranging from $100 to $2,000. Maximum value of SEMA membership is $2,000.

*Please review the full Terms & Conditions for prize package.

Program Timeline

  • Applications period: March 16, 2020 – May 3, 2020.
  • Semi-finalists (15) announced: May 18, 2020
  • Semi-finalists film 3-minute pitch video at SEMA Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas: June 24-26, 2020
  • Voting Period: August 3 - September 11, 2020
  • Top Ten competitors - Kiosks (10 people) and Finalists (5 people) will be notified: September 18, 2020
  • SEMA Launch Pad Live Event: November 2, 2020 at 11:30am (SEMA Show) SEMA Launch Pad Roundtable: November 4, 2020 at 1pm (SEMA Show)

Basic Requirements

  • Applicants do not need to be a SEMA and/or a YEN member, but must be under the age of 40 (at the time of the closing of the 2020 SEMA Show on November 6, 2020)
  • The business owner, company's leading executive (i.e., president, CEO, CFO, COO), or vice president is the participant on behalf of the company.
  • Functioning Product/Service: The competing business must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept, or currently for sale.
  • Semi-finalists Travel: Travel to the Exhibitor Summit (Las Vegas, NV). SEMA provides event registration, hotel, meals onsite and a $500 Grant to be used towards flight expenses.
  • Finalists Travel: Travel to the SEMA Show (Las Vegas, NV) at their own expense to exhibit and compete in the live event. The participant in the original application must make the business pitch before the SEMA Launch Pad judges. (No substitutes)
  • Taxes: All taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize-winning company. Tax liability is based on the value of the prizes.
  • Intellectual Property: A patent or trademark registration is not required but by entering the competition, the contest participant certifies that he/she has ownership rights to any intellectual property rights (i.e., trademark, copyright, patent, proprietary information) for the company and product/service being marketed, or authorization from the owner of such rights.
  • Residency: Open only to legal residents of the United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age (except residents of Alabama and Nebraska, who must be 19 years of age or older) and who have a valid email address.

**Please review the full Terms & Conditions and Selection Criteria.

Coming Soon – 2020 Launch Pad Judges


Vaughn Gittin Jr.

President RTR Vehicles / World Champion Drifter

Sean Holman

Motor Trend Group and Co-creator & Co-host of the #1 truck enthusiast podcast, The Truck Show Podcast with Lightning & Holman

Dan Kahn

President & CEO, Kahn Media Inc., SEMA Board Member

Wade Kawasaki

CEO, Legendary Companies
Immediate Past Chairman of the Board

Melanie White

SEMA 2018 Person of the Year, Hellwig Products, SEMA Board Member

Judging Criteria

All Launch Pad finalists will compete in the live event at the 2020 SEMA Show where they will present a five-minute pitch to a panel of judges on their product/service. The contestants will be scored based on their performance in the following categories: People, Product, and Process.


2020 Launch Pad Top Finalists to be announced on September 18, 2020


Wesley Poole

Forged Authority

Reid Lunde

Kaizen Speed
Owner and Founder

Christopher Owens

Last Drop Wrench
CEO / Founder

Riley Koidahl

The Paddock

TJ Hammerle

Trac-Top llc

Coming Soon – 2020 Launch Pad Host

2019 HOST

Aaron Kaufman

ArcLight Fabrication

If you’ve watched any sort of motoring program on Discovery Channel in the last five years there’s a very good chance you already know the name Aaron Kaufman. But there’s much more to this fabricator than making race cars to compete in a variety of race series around the United States and making F-100 parts out of his new shop, ArcLight Fabrication, in Dallas, Texas.

Aaron’s fabrication experience began as many others have, by needing a part for his Jeep Cherokee. Aaron, always having been mechanically minded but with very little fabrication experience under his belt ordered the part for his Jeep to find that when he got it he could have easily made the part himself. From that experience he swore to himself that he would do everything in his power to make his own parts whenever able. With this new mentality on how he worked on cars, trucks, and motorcycles his experience level quickly grew, and he began to attract attention at local shops in his hometown of Fort Worth.

From there he worked at a few shops in DFW, including Drop Zone, his own shop on Main Street in Dallas called No Name Shop, Gas Monkey Garage, to finally opening his own shop with the aim of producing parts for Ford F-100s. Those plans were temporarily put on hold when Discovery Channel came to him and asked him to do his own show so for the first nine months ArcLight Fabrication became a race shop of sorts, building cars to compete in a variety of races to be documented for the show, Shifting Gears. With season one of Shifting Gears in the bag ArcLight has returned to its original goal of producing parts.