Compete for a $10,000 Grand Prize

  • Grand Prize of $10,000 includes 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.

Prize Packages


  • The finalist, top ten and semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • $10,000 to be used for the benefit of your business
  • Turn-key Exhibit Space with Premium Placement at the 2020 SEMA Show*
  • One full-page, four-color advertisement in SEMA News magazine
  • Up to three hours of free custom scanning services at the SEMA Garage
  • SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Network: Distribution/sales support consultation meeting
  • One-year Tech Transfer Subscription (must qualify) New Prize for 2019!

FINALISTS PRIZE: 5 Competitors

  • The top ten and semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • Invitation to pitch at the Live Event for the grand prize held on Nov. 4, 2019.
  • SEMA Data Co-op: 50% off supplier monthly membership fees for your first year (up to a maximum of 10 SKU’s). New Prize for 2019!
  • One - ½ page, four color advertisement in SEMA News Magazine - New Prize for 2019!
  • One Live Chat on YEN’s Facebook page talking about how you started the business and experience at Launch Pad. - New Prize for 2019!

TOP TEN: 10 participants

  • The semi-finalist prizes plus:
  • Complimentary 2019 SEMA Show "Kiosk" Booth*
  • Two exhibitor passes to the SEMA Show
  • Two tickets to the SEMA Banquet
  • One-hour mentoring session with an industry leader
  • Widespread awareness of your brand and business

SEMI-FINALISTS PRIZE: 15 participants

  • One-year SEMA Membership.
  • Complimentary registration to the 2019 Exhibitor Summit, 2 nights of hotel and meals at the event (June 18 & June 19)
  • $500 award to be used toward flight cost to the 2019 Exhibitor Summit.
  • 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. - New Prize for 2019!
  • One professional Launch Pad video to be hosted on the SEMA YouTube Channel. - New Prize for 2019!

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 2019 SEMA Show kiosk booth in the New Products Showcase area or the turn-key exhibit space with premium placement at the 2019 SEMA Show.

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

Program Timeline

  • Applications period: February 11, 2019 – April 14, 2019.
  • Semi-finalists (15) announced: April 29, 2019
  • Semi-finalists film 3-minute pitch video at SEMA Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas: June 17-19, 2019
  • Voting Period: July 29 - September 8, 2019
  • Top Ten competitors - Kiosks (10 people) and Finalists (5 people) will be notified: September 16, 2019
  • SEMA Launch Pad Live Event: November 4, 2019 at 11:30am (SEMA Show) SEMA Launch Pad Roundtable: November 6, 2019 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 2019 SEMA Show on November 8, 2019)
  • The business owner, company's leading executive (i.e., president, CEO, CFO, COO), or vice president (with ownership stake) 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 and who have a valid email address.

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


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.

Wade Kawasaki

Coker Group and SEMA Chairman of the Board

Melanie White

SEMA 2018 Person of the Year, Hellwig Products

Judging Criteria

All Launch Pad finalists will compete in the live event at the 2019 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.


2019 SEMA Launch Pad Finalists

Eric Amato, Radial Dynamics LLC
Product: Vortex Steering Reservoir
The Radial Dynamics Vortex Reservoir is a revolution in the off-road steering market segment which features a patent-pending design that actively de-aerates steering fluid and maximizes effective system capacity to keep even the highest flowing steering pumps working at their best under the most demanding conditions.

Alan Brentzel, Traveling Tint
Product: Removable sun shades and window tint
Traveling tint is a high quality optically clear removable window tint/shade. Our traveling tint kit Is a 15% VLT tinted, quick to put on a window, pull it off and move. The slap shade line is a complete sunblock kit, this product is customizable with logos and brands.

Jason Denney , RIGd Supply
Chief Marketing Officer
Product: UltraSwing
The RIGd UltraSwing is a spare tire carrier and swing-away receiver for bike racks or other hitch mounted accessories. UltraSwing is designed for serious off-road use and combines maximum functionality with reduced weight. UltraSwing features an ecosystem of accessory mounts including a camp table, fuel, Hi-Lift jacks, and more. 

TJ Hammerle , Trac-Top llc
Product: Trac-Top / Jeep Wrangler Top
Trac-Top is a direct replacement for the freedom panels of the Jeep Wrangler using the factory knobs and knobs. It is a coil-sprung retractable canvas that is built directly into the housing, so you have instant shade when you want it and protection from the elements when you need it.

Thomas Judge , GJ Motorsports LLC
Product: 3rd Brake Lights
The GJ Motorsports aftermarket 3rd brake lights provide a high mounting location for LED lights to provide effective dust/chase lights with a factory fit and finish. They are also a great option for anyone working around the rear of their vehicle by providing excellent work or scene lighting.

Riley Koidahl, The Paddock
Product: The Paddock
The Paddock leverages technology to give car enthusiasts the best shopping experience possible. Virtually test fit wheels, browse classifieds, and connect with installers for a seamless wheel and tire experience, from ideation to installation. We aren’t reinventing the wheel, just the experience around it.

Andrew Lien, KeyCages
Product: KeyCages
"KeyCages are precision engineered exoskeletons for keys and key fobs that enhance the look and performance of OEM keys."

Reid Lunde, Kaizen Speed
Owner and Founder
Product: Kaizen Relay
The Kaizen Relay is a weatherproof, solid-state relay that directly replaces standard relays. It's patent pending design allows multiple relays to interconnect, making it easy to add on to your vehicle without complicated wiring. Programmable CAN-bus modules and wireless modules can be attached, instantly making your Kaizen Relay a smart PDM.

Christopher Owens, Last Drop Wrench
CEO / Founder
Product: The Last Drop Wrench
The Last Drop Wrench allows you to drain oil from an oil filter before it has been removed eliminating spills and burns all while decreasing the time it takes to complete an oil change by up to 25%. Life is already messy; your oil change doesn’t have to be.

Wesley Poole, Forged Authority
Product: Aftermarket Truck Bed Systems
Forged Authority manufactures the next generation of Truck Bed Systems. Toolboxes, chairs, tire chocks, tie down hooks, kayak racks, fishing rod holders, and more. Our accessories mount onto our new MFR (mounting frame rail) with 1 pin, within seconds. Ever changing how to use your truck to do more, faster.

Alexander Reid, Seville Auto Trim LLC
GloTrim Products Lead
Product: GloTrim / Fiber Optic light guide see OEM
GloTrim is a flexible glass fiber optic welting kits provides premium soft trim lighting solutions, by offering kits, consultation, integration, and custom services. GloTrim kits are designed to be easily integrated into any 12 Volt system. GloTrim provides company's in the automotive aftermarket the tools to craft new, exciting and desirable products for their customers.

Zachary Saylor, The Wiper Group LLC
Product: Wiper Packs
Changing windshield wipers is simple with Wiper Packs from The Wiper Group. Each pack is customized to include two blades that are the right fit for your car. When it’s time for a change, get a Refill Pack so you can keep the blades and just replace the rubber. 

John Schurman, Voxel Evolution LLC dba Luxe Auto Concepts
Product: Luxe LightWrap
Luxe LightWrap is a translucent premium cast vinyl specifically designed for wrapping a vehicle's lights and trim. LightWrap is proudly manufactured in the USA and features air release for quick bubble free installations, and because it can be printed and laminated there is no limit to what effect is possible!

Sarah Smith, SoCur Inc
Product: UV Cure Undercoat System for Automotive Refinish
ChipFix is a single component ultraviolet cure fine putty that is translucent in color. This putty is perfect for last minute touch ups of pinholes, rock chips, light gauges and minor imperfections. ChipFix spreads easily and cures in seconds with an appropriate UV light and experiences little to no shrinkage.

Justin Urban, Urban Custom Fabrications
Product: DIY Custom Flatbeds
UCF’s industry changing aluminum flatbed has interlocking pieces that bolt together in an at home or professional garage. The bed can be shipped to their door for a DIY project or fabrication shops can save on inventory costs because it fits most platforms. Its sturdy, durable, and a clean design.

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.