Top Young Innovators To Compete At SEMA Show

Top Young Innovators To Compete At SEMA Show

The top 10 finalists in the 2018 SEMA Launch Pad program were selected online in a public voting process.

The top 10 innovators in the 2018 SEMA Launch Pad powered by YEN program have been announced and now advance to the final stage of the contest, a live product-pitching event held at the 2018 SEMA Show. Open to entrepreneurs and business owners ages 18 to 39, Launch Pad is an entrepreneur automotive competition that takes place annually at the SEMA Show.

The finalists were selected via an online public vote and will have an opportunity the Monday before the official start of the 2018 SEMA Show to win valuable resources to help build their brands. The grand-prize winner of this year’s SEMA Launch Pad competition will receive $10,000, booth space at the 2019 SEMA Show, free promotional support and more.

“The public has been instrumental in helping us identify the top 10 finalists from the more than 85 young innovators who entered this year’s program,” Nick Caloroso, SEMA Launch Pad task force chair. “The finalists will now make a live five-minute pitch before a panel of distinguished judges.”

Greg Adler (Transamerican Auto Parts), Ron Coleman (COMP Performance Group), Vaughn Gittin Jr. (president-RTR Vehicles/World Champion Drifter), Wade Kawasaki (Coker Group and SEMA chairman) and Sean Holman (Motor Trend Group and The Truck Show Podcast with Lightning & Holman) will make up the panel of experts who will determine this year’s SEMA Launch Pad winner.

The top 10 finalists of the 2018 SEMA Launch Pad program are:

  • George Schafer (SMS Auto Parts Co.); Product: Exposed Racks
  • Kansas Sartin (PAKMULE, LLC) Product: Automotive Cargo Products
  • Jonathan Hurley (ToolBox Widget LLC); Product: ToolBox Widget
  • Matt Beenen (BuiltRight Industries); Product: Storage & Organizational Solutions
  • Christopher Owens (Creative Fabrication & Coatings); Product: Last Drop Wrench
  • Stephen Hale (Stohd Outdoor); Product: Exoskeleton Utility Trail Door
  • Zach Kowalik (Quick Covers); Product: Quick Covers Corrosion Solutions
  • Ed Uehling (King Tailgates); Product: KT1
  • Ryan Amesbury (Amped Technologies); Product: LevelUp
  • Todd Earsley (My Shop Assist); Product: My Shop Assist

The live pitching, which will be hosted by James Pumphrey from Donut Media, takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, in the Westgate Hotel and Casino Theater, where hundreds of automotive-driven students will witness the action. Since 2013, more than 200 young entrepreneurs and innovators in the automotive industry have competed in the SEMA Launch Pad program, which gives emerging business owners an opportunity to boost their automotive products or services.

For more information about the SEMA Launch Pad program and this year’s top 10 finalists, visit

You May Also Like

MEMA Partners on Enhanced Aftermarket Logistics Solutions 

The MEMA, eShipping Partner Program offers MEMA member companies a robust transportation management platform.

MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, announced its partnership with eShipping, a nationwide distribution chain management company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. The newly launched MEMA & eShipping Partner Program aims to enhance logistics solutions for the automotive aftermarket industry.

The MEMA & eShipping Partner Program offers a robust transportation management platform, including Less Than Truckload, Full Truckload, Small Parcel, International, Specialty Modes, Warehousing, Distribution and TMS Technology.

Shaw Assumes Leadership of MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers

Collin Shaw succeeds Julie Fream who served 10 years in the position.

Collin Shaw promoted at MEMA
MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Forms New CEO Council

The council brings together executives from the automotive, commercial vehicle and remanufacturing sectors.

DOJ, FTC Support MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ Petition

The petition expands consumer access to vehicle operational, diagnostic and telematics data.

YANG Holds Regional Meetup with Leadership 2.0 Session

The event took place March 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/SouthPark in Charlotte, North Carolina.

YANG Leadership 2.0

Other Posts

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ MiX Certifications Announced

DRiV’s Elisse Richardson and Gates Corporation’s Bryce Neumeier were recognized for their commitment to excellence in their respective roles.

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ MiX Certifications Announced
Auto Care Association Launches REPAIR Act Video

The goal is to emphasize the need for federal REPAIR Act legislation, according to the Auto Care Association.

Right to repair 2
MEMA Q1 Webinar to Feature Wedbush Analyst Seth Basham

The webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on March 13.

Seth Basham MEMA
New Sponsorship Opportunities for Auto Care Connect

Auto Care Connect, taking place May 5-8 in downtown Chicago, annually brings together professionals from across the auto care sector.

Auto Care Connect