Launch Pad offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform at the SEMA Show to showcase their fledgling automotive businesses.
By Amanda Gubbins
SEMA’s Launch Pad competition provides all competitors with substantial industry exposure at the SEMA Show and beyond. But the ultimate winner also walks away with a prize package specifically designed to boost the status of his or her budding young business.
Now in its third year, Launch Pad offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform to showcase their fledgling automotive businesses. Contestants enter video presentations to provide an overview of their product or service. The top five, as chosen by Facebook votes, proceed to a live round at the SEMA Show, where a panel of celebrity judges provide feedback and select the winner.
The prize package includes items to help with the operations side of the business, such as a free SEMA Garage services, discounts on first year SEMA Data Co-op membership, distribution and sales support consultation, and shipping resources from UPS. Perhaps even more valuable are the prizes aimed at increasing press time and industry exposure. The winner walks away with a free 10x10-ft. booth for the 2016 SEMA Show, ad space, sponsorship packages and more.
Ian Lehn, the 2014 winner, has become an advocate for the program. In the first quarter of 2015, Lehn’s company Boostane exceeded its previous years’ sales.
“We did a lot of marketing and things like that but if I were to put a graph on it, the spikes came from the Launch Pad exposure,” said Lehn “My advice, looking back on my experience is enjoy it. Win or lose, you’re going to benefit from the process.”
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