SEMA seeks young entrepreneurs and their product pitches

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SEMA is searching for young entrepreneurs ready to pitch their automotive innovations. | SEMA photo
SEMA is searching for young entrepreneurs ready to pitch their automotive innovations. | SEMA photo

The Specialty Equipment Market Association is staging a contest to find young entrepreneurs with a cool car innovation. The top prize? Booth space at the SEMA Show to show off the products.

The contest is called the SEMA Launch Pad. Submissions will be accepted through April 14 in the competition, which is presented by the Young Executives Network.

Fifteen applicants will be chosen and awarded a one-year membership, as well as airfare to attend the SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas in June. There, they will learn new business strategies and make a short video about their product.

The association will upload the videos and allow a public vote to determine the 10 winners, who will receive a complimentary kiosk booth at the SEMA Show, scheduled for early November in Las Vegas.

The five products that receive the most votes also will be entered in the SEMA Launch Pad Live event.

“The top five finalists will pitch their business to a panel of iconic industry judges, who will determine the winner of the top prize of $10,000, a turn-key exhibit space with premium placement at the 2020 SEMA Show, free promotional support, and more,” Nathan Ridnouer, SEMA’s vice president of councils and membership, said in a news release.

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Ridnouer added that more than 200 young entrepreneurs have pitched judges as part of the program since 2013.

“We’re excited to see a new group of young leaders and innovative products emerge from this year’s program.”

Entrants do not need to be members of SEMA or YEN to participate, but must hold stake within their respective company, although students can apply.

For more information, visit the Launch Pad website.

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Carter Nacke is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He began his career at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix, the largest news radio station in Arizona, where he specialized in breaking news and politics. A burgeoning interest in classic cars took him to the Journal in 2018. He's still on the hunt for his dad's old 1969 Camaro.

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