SEMA Announces changes to Launch Pad competition

SEMA says its Launch Pad competition is evolving, with eligibility now open to all qualified participants over the age of 18 years, a grand-prize package valued up to $92,000, and promotion for participants’ new products in SEMA websites and social media.

The SEMA Launch Pad, which was introduced in 2013 by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN), is a program designed to help emerging entrepreneurs and inventors launch new automotive products into the marketplace. Originally created to support young American entrepreneurs under the age of 40, this year’s program is open to qualified individuals who are legal residents of the United States, at least 18 years of age (except residents of Alabama and Nebraska, who must be at least 19 years of age) and have a valid email address. This year’s SEMA Launch Pad also includes an expanded prize package and cash awarded to the top three finalists, and dozens of other participants featured in video interviews that will air on SEMA’s social media networks.

SEMA Chairman-Elect, James Lawrence, said he is excited about the future of SEMA Launch Pad and the entrepreneurship it champions. “The automotive aftermarket has always been home to fresh thinking and product innovation, but it’s never had a spotlight like this before. The expansion of the Launch Pad competition will only encourage even more entrepreneurs, inventors, and developers to bring new products to the automotive market. I personally can’t wait to see what’s coming for this next SEMA Launch Pad.”

To qualify, applicants must be a business owner, company leading executive (president, CEO, CFO, COO), or vice president of a company and must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept, or currently for sale.

Fifteen semi-finalists will be selected in June to attend the 2021 SEMA Show in November. The top five finalists will pitch their products to a panel of industry judges at the SEMA Show, be recognised at the industry’s premier celebration – the SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet – and be featured on SEMA publications, websites, and social media.

Applications to participate in SEMA Launch Pad must be submitted online at by May 30, 2021.

Roland Hence, far right, won last year’s SEMA Launch Pad competition with his Impulse – Emergency Brake Light. The 2021 SEMA Launch Pad competition is open to all qualified participants over the age of 18 years, and includes a grand-prize package valued up to $92,000 and promotional support.

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