The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) is now accepting applications for its annual Launch Pad competition at sema.org/launchpad. The program, now in its fifth year, has helped young and emerging entrepreneurs in the automotive aftermarket launch their new products or services into the marketplace through expert guidance and increased brand awareness that has resulted in business growth of up to 300% for participants.
The competition offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform to present their products to industry veterans and experts for evaluation and feedback to help take their businesses to the next level. The program offers various prize packages with opportunities to receive a $10,000 award, free SEMA Show booth and one-year SEMA membership, face time with key industry influencers, and access to business tools and resources.
“The program is designed to help individuals bring their products to market and ultimately to build a better business,” said SEMA Director of Networks Bryan Harrison. “We are teaching these young entrepreneurs that you more often have to start by selling the problem to the market before selling your product as the solution.”
Applicants do not need to be members of SEMA or YEN to participate but must hold an executive position within the company and act as its representative in all promotions and presentations if selected as a semifinalist and finalist. Semi-finalists are flown to the SEMA Exhibitor Summit, held in Las Vegas in June, to film their official videos, which will be considered in a nationwide voting campaign to determine 10 finalists.
Along with exposure through SEMA media channels and network opportunities, finalists will receive a kiosk-style booth at the 2017 SEMA Show. The grand-prize winner will be awarded industry exposure through ads and articles, complimentary and discounted SEMA resource services, exhibit space at the 2018 SEMA Show, and much more.
“The SEMA Launch Pad prize package has so many elements that will benefit my new business. There is a good reason that the competition is titled ‘Launch Pad,’ because the prize package is certainly tailored to provide one,” said Aaron Aldrich of Any Level Lift, which was named the 2016 SEMA Launch Pad winner. “Any Level Lift is a new name in the industry, and the exposure from the news and magazine articles will help get our name out there, showcase our technology and build our brand.”
To apply or for more information, log on to sema.org/launchpad. The deadline is May 30, 2017.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $39.2 billion specialty automotive industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. Association resources include market research, legislative advocacy, training and product development support, as well as leading trade shows such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, IN.
About SEMA YEN
The Young Executives Network’s (YEN) mission is to cultivate young talent in the automotive aftermarket through implementation of education and networking. YEN membership provides the ideal opportunity to become actively involved with SEMA and the specialty automotive aftermarket. Participants are given networking opportunities with prominent and accomplished industry leaders. Membership in YEN is open to all SEMA-member company employees under the age of 40 at no cost.
For more information, visit sema.org/yen.