IRVINE, CA – October 26, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Alex Leonov and Sean Stephens of MotoLink LLC, a powersports connectivity platform, won the 2018 Motorcycle Industry Council Gas Tank Competition.
MotoLink was one of four finalists in the competition and mentorship program, which is open to individuals and groups, women and men, and anyone with a new product or service idea. Selected entrants are paired with an industry mentor, who offers coaching and advice on developing a business plan. Up to five finalists are chosen to exhibit at AIMExpo Presented by Nationwide and to pitch their ideas to industry VIPs.
The other finalists were Leslie Padoll of Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber, a company that makes comfortable, durable and stylish leather boots and jackets; creating timeless essentials in the highest quality materials; Jen Burch and Jon Dazeley of Hightail, a unique, fast way to secure your hair while also protecting it from the wind, sun, and breakage; and Chris “Tice” Theis of XDL Events, who operates three show programs including XDL Street Jam, the sport bike-based team; the StreetCowboys, the V-Twin-based team; and the brand new MotoFreak Show package that takes live action motorcycle shows into the future.
Back row, left to right:
Jan Burch and Jon Dazeley of Hightail, Chris “Tice” Theis of XLD Events, Emily Schwenk of Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber, Robert Comer of MotoLink
Front row, left to right:
Maggie Seruga of BH&BR, Alex Leonov and Sean Stephens of MotoLink, Leslie Padoll of Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber
Each entrant presented their idea and business plan to a panel of judges and to industry and mainstream media. On the judging panel were: Bob Althoff, dealer principal, A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson Family of Dealerships and CEO of Dealernews Magazine; Andrew Leisner, senior vice president, managing director Bonnier Motorcycle Media; Kim Harrison, general manager, Coleman PowerSports; and Jessica Prokup, marketing director, Twisted Throttle.
“Congratulations to Alex Leonov and the entire MotoLink team for their win,” said Tim Buche, MIC president and CEO. “I know it was difficult for the judges to pick a winner as all four entrants had such innovative ideas and solid business plans. Truthfully, we consider all participants to be winners, as the mentorship experience and AIMExpo exposure is truly at the heart of the competition,” Buche said. “MIC is proud to support the growth and success of the powersports business sector through our Gas Tank Competition and we are eager to see what’s next for MotoLink and all participants.”
“It is a great honor for us to be named winner,” said Alex Leonov, founder and managing director of MotoLink LLC. “We started MotoLink with the goal of taking the latest automotive connectivity and telematics technologies and solutions, and reinventing them to meet the unique needs of the powersports industry.” MotoLink unlocks valuable vehicle data and provides vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, insurance companies and other market players a direct link to the rider/consumer, allowing these businesses to generate additional revenue, cut operational costs and improve safety, customer satisfaction, and overall riding enjoyment, according to Leonov. “We see this award as a confirmation that we are on the right track with our solutions,” he said.
“The MIC launched its Gas Tank Mentoring Program to accelerate new businesses in the powersports industry,” said Cam Arnold of MIC Programs. “Mentoring is an essential component of Gas Tank. Entrepreneurs are paired with an industry mentor who helps them build a business plan and eight-minute pitch. Mentors not only inspire participants to think big, they actively support their professional development and networking opportunities.”
- January 31, 2019: Deadline for application and “elevator pitch” video.
- February 28, 2019: Selected entrants will be matched with a mentor.
- June 14, 2019: Entrants must submit a business plan to Gas Tank.
- July 8, 2019: Up to five finalists will be chosen 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 for one person, booth space at the show and access to powersports media.
- Sep 26-29, 2019: Finalists must be able to appear in person at AIMExpo to present their business plan 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 AIMExpo.
About The MIC
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, AIMExpo, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.
Source: Motorcycle Industry Council