Startup Accelerator2022-05-11T19:00:28+00:00

Startups — apply now to participate in the 12-week high-touch RIoT Accelerator Program. RAP increases the impact of traditional business development resources by connecting you with an industry consortium of more than 90 companies across the IoT technology stack to learn, partner, and bring your product to market.

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Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Startups may apply anytime and will be considered for each cohort after the associated application deadline.

Winter 2022 Cohort | February 16th to May 5th | Wilson, NC  

Applications have closed

Spring 2022 Cohort | April 27th to July 14th | Stafford, VA  

Applications have closed

Summer 2022 Cohort | July 20th to October 6th | Raleigh, NC  

Deadline for Applications is Friday, May 20th, 5pm ET

Fall 2022 Cohort | September 28th to December 15th | Stafford, VA  

Deadline for Applications is Friday, July 29th, 5pm ET

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The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) facilitates a variety of entrepreneurial processes– from research commercialization to startup growth to corporate innovation projects. There is an opportunity for industry to seed the accelerator with market-driven problems. If you are part of a research commercialization or corporate innovation team motivated to solve through entrepreneurial partnerships or internal startup teams, contact us.

  • Connect with industry partners and customers
  • Leverage an engineering prototyping lab and tools
  • Access an IoT ecosystem of government, academic and industry collaborators

From 2014-2017, RIoT supported 40 companies that went on to collectively raise over $275M and create more than 400 jobs in NC. Recognizing the opportunity to leverage this momentum, the EDA awarded RIoT an economic development grant to launch a formal accelerator program in 2018.

See the launch story

Who should apply?

Since its inception, RIoT has supported dozens of startups–many of which may not look like classic IoT companies. RAP seeks innovative ideas from companies and entrepreneurs that recognize the the opportunity to leverage the data economy.

Three paths into the program:

  • Apply as an early stage startup
  • Apply as a corporate team to leverage the program to facilitate an innovative new product offering and network in a creative environment outside of your corporate structure.
  • New team formation around industry-driven projects: RIoT helps source talent for sponsored innovation projects. Connect with us if you’re interested in seeding a project into RAP or joining a RAP team as a complementary technical or business applicant.

RAP is stage and industry agnostic. Whether you are a startup, a motivated entrepreneur onto your next idea, or a part of a company interested in starting a project in an environment independent of the company structure, please apply. Strong applications demonstrate a market demand, ideal timing, and early validation or traction.

Team Requirements

Team size requirement: 2 full time preferred, 1 full time minimum.

Must be available to participate full time through the 3-month program. Content is a mix of on-site workshop programming and mentorship and dedicated time to work on your company.


Download the application here. Once you complete the application, use our online form to submit your application.

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What kind of corporate project scope is well suited to leverage RAP?2020-03-17T18:48:08+00:00

Corporate teams interested in participating in RAP (either through placing a team in the program or working with RIoT to source a team), should be exploring an innovative IoT project that represents an unmet market need or an entirely new product offering. The opportunity should present a potential revenue expectation of at least $100k annually. Interested corporate participants should connect with RIoT early and often to assess fit with RAP and determine priority needs to address before entering the program.

How many teams does RIoT accept into the program?2020-03-27T17:40:43+00:00

We accept 6-10 startup teams in each cohort, and usually have a mix of early-stage startups and corporate teams.

What does a typical week during the program look like?2020-03-27T17:42:49+00:00

Typically, you will participate in 2-3 workshops and 2-3 mentoring sessions each week during the program. The weekly programmed time commitment is about 8 hours. We keep programming to a consistent schedule (usually concentrated on Mondays & Tuesdays) so your week is predictable and ample time is open for executing on your business.

What if I don’t think my team or product is quite ready for an accelerator program?2020-03-27T17:44:10+00:00

Apply anyway to get connected with us! An application is a great way for RIoT to get to know you, which allows us to connect you to people and resources (regardless of program acceptance). If the timing and fit are not right for the near-term, an application is a low-commitment and worthwhile exercise. At a minimum, an application serves as a data point for future applications you may submit. Repeat applicants that show progress are strong contenders.

What makes for a strong application into RAP?2020-03-26T16:45:43+00:00

We most closely assess the strength of the team (Do you have industry experience and expertise? Do you have a well-rounded team with necessary skills covered? Is there a compelling case that you are the right team to solve this particular problem? Do you have a track record for executing successfully?), problem/solution fit (How have you narrowly defined the problem you’re solving? What traction points can you indicate that your solution is the right approach?), and the business case (Do you know the market you’re entering into? Is it the solution right for the target market? Do you have a clear path to revenue that is well informed by research, customer discovery, and testing– or at least a thoughtful plan for how you will go to market?).

What kinds of startups are best suited for RAP?2020-03-27T17:44:32+00:00

RAP is open to all industries and a range of development stages. In past programs we have supported tech startups in public safety, environmental monitoring, healthcare, manufacturing, consumer products, and more. While we will work with teams at an idea stage, our sweet spot is startups that have at least validated a proof of concept and are beginning to attract and pilot with early customers (but are typically pre-revenue). We aim to support teams who are well positioned to leverage the program curriculum and network.

If accepted to RAP, do I need to participate on location?2020-03-27T17:45:38+00:00

We typically expect all Raleigh cohort teams to meet in person in Raleigh as often as they can. We understand that there are occasional circumstances that require you to miss workshops, and with proper advanced communication, we work to be flexible with you.

Under the current COVID-19 circumstances, our RAP cohort is meeting remotely until further notice. We will continue to assess the needs of our 2020 program participants going forward.

What are the dates for the Summer 2020 program?2020-03-27T17:46:38+00:00

May 26th to August 14th, 2020. Cohort based at RIoT Labs in Raleigh, NC.

What are the upcoming RAP application deadlines?2020-04-14T19:24:54+00:00

Applications are closed for MISSION-R and the Summer 2020 Cohort

June 29, 2020 at 5pm EST: Application deadline for Fall 2020 Cohort


RIoT Accelerator Program Alumni