July 14, 2024

Kevin Robinson displaying the TRAC Jack, his company’s newest tire-changing tool 
LAS VEGAS — Colorado repair shop owner and inventor Kevin Robinson, a finalist in the 2021 SEMA Launch Pad competition, will compete again this year for the Launch Pad title with a different product.
Last year Robinson, founder and president of TRAC L.L.C. in Denver, competed for the 2021 honors with his product, the TRAC Tire Rotation Assistance Cart, a shop tool designed to make tire rotations and new tire installations less strenuous, thereby minimizing the risk of injury from lifting heavy wheels and tires.
This year he’s back with a companion product, the TRAC Tire Jack, a different tool designed to make removing or installing a wheel/tire from a vehicle safer, simpler and easier.
Robinson will compete with four other inventors during SEMA for the Launch Pad title and the grand-prize package valued at $92,000.
SEMA has conducted the Launch Pad competition — which SEMA calls the “ultimate product-pitching competition for the automotive aftermarket” — since 2013.
In addition to vying for a prize package that includes space at the SEMA Show and promotion on national television, competitors build connections and receive support from established experts who serve as judges and mentors in the program.
Kevin Robinson on the ‘hot seat’ during the SEMA Launch Pad live Q&A at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. 
The other finalists and their products are:
The TRAC Tire Jack can be described as a lever with caster that a shop technician uses to remove a tire/wheel assembly from a vehicle jacked up slightly off the shop floor. The tech slides one end of the TRAC Tire Jack under the tire/wheel assembly with lug nuts removed, steps on one end of the jack, lifts the assembly and moves it away from the vehicle.
The tool’s design allows individuals to remove the tire/wheel assembly without having to lift with their back. The welded-steel tool weighs five pounds and is 18.5 by 5 by 2 inches.
Robinson promotes the tool with: “Work Smarter not harder, use the jack-not your back.”
Robinson’s other product, the TRAC Tire Rotation Assistance Cart was recognized at the 2019 SEMA Show as the best new product in the Tools & Equipment category.
The five finalists were chosen by a panel of judges from among 15 entrants — out of 100 entries — who pitched their ideas to the judges several times over the summer.
“This year’s SEMA Launch Pad competitors were among the best that we’ve ever seen,” Myles Kovacs, founder and owner of DUB magazine and TIS Wheels and a judge for the third time, said.
“I’m constantly amazed at the ingenuity, passion and drive we see from competitors. It’s going to be difficult to select just one winner from the group.”
Other judges are: Chip Foose, award-winning vehicle builder and artist; Jared Hare, an innovator, entrepreneur and founder of Addictive Desert Designs; and Alex Parker, chief marketing officer of Redline Detection, the 2020 SEMA Manufacturer of the Year.
At the SEMA Show, the five finalists will pitch their products before a live audience on Nov. 2, offering insights on their business and marketing activities. Two finalists will go on to pitch their products on stage at the SEMA Awards Banquet on Nov. 3.
“Winning SEMA Launch Pad is truly an opportunity of a lifetime,” Kovacs added. “Not only does each competitor benefit from the experience, but we are also able to shed light on the products and services that fill a gap in the industry and can inspire future inventors to do the same.”
The other finalists don’t go home empty-handed. The runner-up will earn a prize package valued at up to $27,000, while third place’s prize package is valued at up to $12,000 and fourth and fifth at $8,000.
The 15 semifinalists will have their products displayed at a Launch Pad Corral in Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth No. 22970, SEMA said, giving them an opportunity to educate showgoers on their inventions, increase brand awareness and reach thousands of potential buyers and business partners.
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