This article was originally published by Rick Smith on

If there is anything in tech growing as fast as IoT, it may be RIoT. From launch just two years ago to more than 3,000 members, a growing list of sponsors – and now even more more big shows.

RIoT, the rapidly growing Internet of Things grassroots organization that launched in the Triangle, is now reaching well beyond North Carolina. Formerly known as NC RIoT, the group is taking its IoT economic development and training message to Atlanta and numerous other cities.

Tom Snyder, the group’s executive director, says RIoT has an aggressive plan for 2017, capitalizing on continuing growth in members and sponsors.

Given a huge boost by a $100,000 grant from the NC IDEA Foundation in Durham last September, RIoT also has launched its RIoT Labs program which is designed to help companies and individuals explore IoT opportunities.

Last week, RioT hosted an event focusing on IoT security, and the turnout was huge – some 400 people.

Momentum has grown so fast that Snyder says “RIoT is expanding nationally, on the heels of their successful Orlando-based event last November.”

Having found significant interest outside of the Triangle, RIoT put on networking and education events in Charlotte and the Triad. Emboldened by the Orlando crowd response, RIoT has set its eyes on Atlanta and Charleston, S.C. as well as other cities in North Carolina.

Next big out-of-state event is in Fort Lauderdale.

“RIoT has partnered with Telit and IoT Evolution in Fort Lauderdale to lead discussions on IoT, Smart Cities and 5G on Feb. 7-10,” Snyder says. “A number of sponsoring companies are joining the RIoT delegation.”

Telit is an IoT wireless startup based in Morrisville.

Statewide conference booked

Then comes what RIoT is calling its first “statewide event,” linking sessions in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte for a program on Feb. 28.

The North Carolina Next Generation Network and the National Science Foundation are among the partners.

Also assisting is US Ignite, a NSF-funded effort to help communities embrace gigabit Internet opportunities. Among its members is Salisbury, NC, which has its own fiber network.

“In partnership with US Ignite, NCNGN, NSF and other partners, RIoT is helping NC-based Smart Community applications leverage gigabit broadband infrastructure in the state and then scale business nationally,” Snyder says.

US Ignite ( is currently seeking applications for its grant program.

In March, RIoT takes its roadshow to Atlanta for an event on the 21st focusing on home automation.


[is] partnered with the largest global contract manufacturer (Flex), innovative start-ups Wink and LookListen, and Serta Simmons, who is leveraging IoT to disrupt their industry in exciting new ways,” Snyder says.

RIoT also will be traveling to Asheville and Charlotte this year plus putting on more events in the Triangle.

RIoT Labs

Thanks in part to the NC IDEA grant, RIoT formally launched RIoT Labs last fall.

Partnering with HQ Raleigh, RIoT offers space”designed to help foster, mentor, and advise IoT companies and includes testing equipment.”

Synder calls the Labs “a unique resource, not known elsewhere in the region or across the country. RIoT Labs provides an engineering development lab and office space to start-up and community based efforts, coupled with expert mentoring and connection to established corporate partners.”

Snyder as well as co-founders Matthew Davis and Larry Steffann are quick to share the credit for what RIoT is achieving.

Strong collaboration between sponsors, the entire RIoT community, and NC IDEA’s Ecosystem Partner network gives NC the muscle to amplify the incredible energy from this week’s 2017 kick-off into great success throughout the year,” Snyder says. “RIoT looks forward to continued service to the community.”