Roland Hence, founder and director of FrontLane, Inc., was named winner of the eighth annual SEMA Launch Pad, presented by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN). The announcement was made Monday, Nov. 2, on SEMA360, the new online trade-only event focused on products for the automotive industry.
With more than 80 applicants, the Launch Pad competition concluded with Hence pitching his invention to a panel of industry experts against the five finalists at the Petersen Automotive Museum. His winning product is a new technology for all vehicles.
“As an entrepreneur, you dream about this moment. I am incredibly proud of my team and grateful to SEMA for the platform to showcase our hard work and life-saving product,” said Hence. “I hope that with this incredible result we can take a meaningful step toward reducing rear-end crashes.”
Hence’s winning product, the Impulse – Emergency Brake Light, is a wireless, battery-powered emergency brake light that reduces rear-end collisions by pulsing eight ultra-bright LEDs under extreme braking situations to alert the following driver up to 50% quicker. Impulse can be installed on any passenger vehicle with a standard back windshield in seconds, and has a four-year battery life.
The premiere young entrepreneur automotive program offers innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors between the ages of 18-39 a platform at the world’s largest B2B gathering at the SEMA Show. This year’s SEMA Launch Pad competition included more than 80 applicants.
For his efforts, Hence will receive a prize package that includes $10,000 to be used to benefit the business, exposure to elevate their business and product to the next level with marketing opportunities to industry media outlets, turn-key exhibit space at the 2021 SEMA Show, a free advertisement in SEMA Newsmagazine, access to business tools and resources, and more.
About Launch Pad
The SEMA Launch Pad is presented by the Young Executives Network (YEN), a 1,400-plus SEMA group that fosters and facilitates networking opportunities for young executives. Since 2013 the SEMA Launch Pad program has given young entrepreneurs, students and business owners age 18-39 an opportunity to launch their products into the $46.2 billion automotive aftermarket. The program teaches participants new business strategies on how to develop, market and boost their automotive products or services.
Due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities in Las Vegas may not be available in November, the 2020 SEMA Show is not taking place. Recognizing the industry’s need for a viable marketplace solution amidst a challenging year, SEMA created SEMA360. As an ecommerce solution taking place Nov. 2-6, 2020, SEMA360focuses on manufacturer/reseller relationships, new product introductions, project vehicle debuts and industry-leading education. SEMA360 will leverage the association’s exclusive buyer database and media partnerships to provide manufacturers with the extensive reach and return on their investment.