The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage young entrepreneurs in the automotive industry by providing seed funds that enable them to bring their ideas to fruition. Applicants will be judged on the creativity, ingenuity and practicality of their entrepreneurial idea and how it will positively impact the automotive industry. Evidence of the above will come from the application form and letters of recommendation from faculty advisors and industry contacts. Individuals or groups may apply.
The Heinz C. Prechter Automotive Excellence Scholarship honors the work, life and memory of Heinz C. Prechter, founder of the American Sunroof Co. (now ASC Inc.). In 1965, Prechter spent $764 on tools, made a workbench from an old door covered in aluminum, and a sewing machine from a junkyard to start the American Sunroof Company. Today, ASC Inc. is a successful global specialty vehicle and systems company. After Prechter's passing in 2001, General Motors Corp. donated the #2 Chevy SSR to the SAE Foundation to provide the seed funds to establish the award in honor of Heinz Prechter. Award recipients are required to present their idea and status of their project to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees at a meeting approximately six months after receipt of the scholarship.