Six powersports entrepreneurs are participating in the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Gas Tank program. The participants have been matched with industry mentors who offer coaching and advice on developing a business plan. Final business plans must be submitted to the Gas Tank Competition by June 14, 2019.
The 2019 participants and mentors are:
Guillermo Cornejo of Riders Share (Airbnb of motorcycles)
Mentor: Scot Harden of Harden Off-road
Anya Violet of Atwyld (women's motorcycle technical apparel, built to fill the gap between everyday apparel and core riding gear)
Mentor: Eric Anderson of Vroom Network
Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn of Mimi and Moto (children's motorcycle book, becoming the Dr. Seuss of the motorcycle world)
Mentor: Frank Esposito, industry veteran
Roy Nolan of Gearhead Zone (ultimate motorcycle drive chain cleaning and lubrication kit)
Mentor: Nicole Allen of Akrapovic
Saibeth Mudek of Women of Go! (building an empowering community for women riders)
Mentor: Moira Zinn of PowerTrip Industries
Alexis Dudley of Flying Duchess (motorcycle jackets for women)
Mentor: Tim Calhoun, Helmet House
“The Gas Tank mentorship and competition was invaluable to the growth of my business,” said Debra Chin, 2016 Gas Tank 1st Place winner and founder of MotoChic® Gear. “To be able to exchange ideas and strategies with my mentor was an opportunity money can’t buy.”
Up to five finalists will be chosen by July 8, 2019, to attend AIMExpo presented by Nationwide at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Sep. 26-29. The finalist prize package includes travel and lodging expenses, booth space at the show and access to powersports media. AIMExpo presented by Nationwide brings industry, press, dealers and consumers together in a single arena. It is the single most important event of its type in the North American market.
Finalists must be able to appear in-person at the show to present their business plans to an industry panel. Pitches will be evaluated on monetary growth potential, overall strategic plan, strategic partners, scalability, innovation, impact and viability and other criteria. A first place, second place and runner up will be announced at the show.
“The connections I made with industry leaders and other entrepreneurs continue to inspire me and the brand I created to combine high performance materials with leading-edge design for stylish women on the move,” Chin said. “Also, incredibly valuable was the AIMExpo booth space I received. It gave me direct access to consumers and dealers who provided valuable feedback.”
The MIC Gas Tank program is similar to “Shark Tank,” where aspiring entrepreneur-contestants make business presentations to a panel of "shark" industry leaders. “Gas Tank” is specific to the powersports industry. It provides a platform for powersports entrepreneurs to work with industry mentors to hone business plans for a chance to pitch live in front of influential industry business leaders and gain insight, visibility, valuable feedback and industry connections.