RIoT officially launches its seventh cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program on Wednesday, February 17th! This Spring cohort based in Wilson, NC is serving SEVEN impressive startup teams from a variety of backgrounds and industries all throughout the triangle and Eastern North Carolina.

RIoT is excited for its second Wilson-based cohort. Wilson acts as a fantastic epicenter for Eastern North Carolina, in part because the City of Wilson is already proving that rural entrepreneurship can be successful. Wilson’s broadband network, Greenlight, and new coworking space and innovation hub, the Gig East Exchange, provide the infrastructure to enable founders from a variety of backgrounds to start businesses. RIoT’s hybrid virtual/in-person program will be based at the Exchange and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to mingle with and support local entrepreneurs.

Learn more about each of our awesome startups below!



Devanne Pena

AFROSPACE is a natural haircare bar & parlor. Behind the bar, AFRObaristas craft affordable, fresh-made products blended exclusively with plant-based butters, oils & herbs. Their mission is to preserve the ancestral tradition of communal self-care. Here, members can do their own hair while connecting with others. AFROSPACE strives to create an environment where Black Women+ feel safe enough to let their hair down and be themselves. This is protective space for naturals to relax.

Coach Next Door

Nazmi Albadawi

Coach Next Door will revolutionize youth soccer development in the United States. Coach Next Door provides opportunities for youth soccer players to book individual training sessions with their favorite pro players either virtually or in person, as well as providing supplemental drills as a part of their membership. Along with other supplemental content, Coach Next Door’s goal is to improve the level of play and development of youth soccer players around the country, while giving professional soccer players an opportunity to make extra income by connecting with youth players dreaming to be in their position.


Rob Meng Kevin Meng David James

FastQSR provides Quick Service Restaurants with two tools to help move the line, solving drive-through delays and indoor customer line delays. If your customers are frustrated after waiting too long in line, FastQSR is here to help. Their passion is helping clients realize the extra revenue and customer satisfaction that comes from MOVING THE LINE! FastQSR can help save time for the more than 60 million Americans who wait in lines each year for quality, quick food, while giving restaurants a 10x return on cost.

Keepsake Tales

Erin Vaggalis Mike Vaggalis

Keepsake Tales enables market-leading personalization via the development of their Personalization Platform. Keepsake Tales believes that every child is one of a kind and has intrinsic value. They are creating the most personalized children’s books in the world to show every child that they matter. Their process is different because they begin their illustrations with a picture of the child, which enables them to show every child – regardless of what they look like – that they are the champion of their story.

Off Duty Blue

Jim Raschella

Off Duty Blue helps public safety organizations minimize costs, improve accountability, and combat officer fatigue by simplifying the way they manage and analyze overtime hours, special events and private security details. Off Duty Blue’s cloud-based detail management application not only streamlines the entire process of overtime and detail management to address staffing issues, it also automates the financial aspect of privately paid security and traffic details, ensuring that billing and payments are seamless, transparent, and reported appropriately.

Pass the Coach

Megan Zipfel

Pass the Coach is a nationwide youth sports coach credentialing service. This new, completely online service, is an easy and convenient certification of the millions of youth volunteer coaches. Pass the Coach’s training modules and background checks will improve the quality of coaching and safety for volunteers and their athletes, as they become “PTC Certified”.


Rob Thelen

Rownd will radically change the way users and customers interact and manage their personal data. Personal data is a valuable asset that is gaining more and more regulatory and societal scrutiny. Rownd believes that everyone deserves individual data ownership, privacy, and security. They provide easy to use developer tools that enable any website, app, and company to be data-privacy leaders, reducing risk and increasing trust.