The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) is a 12-week high-touch program designed to increase 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.
RAP XVIII – Summer 2024 Cohort | June to August 2024 | Cary, NC
Applications open on March 1. Application deadline April 12th
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.
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 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.
Corporate teams interested in participating in RAP should be exploring an innovation project that represents an unmet market need or an entirely new product offering. 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. RAP is a great tool for corporate to “act like a startup” in a creative environment, receive ongoing innovation “project management” and strategy advising, and expand their network of partners.
What kinds of startups are best suited for RAP?reifymedia2022-08-05T16:13:07-04:00
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, two-sided marketplaces, 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.
What does a typical week during the program look like?reifymedia2022-08-05T16:15:09-04:00
Typically, you will participate in two 90-min workshops and 2-3 mentoring sessions each week during the program. The weekly time commitment is about 8 hours– of working ON the business, not just IN it. We keep programming to a consistent schedule (usually concentrated on Wednesdays and Thursdays) so your week is predictable and ample time is open for executing on your business.
If accepted to RAP, do I need to participate on location?reifymedia2022-08-05T16:15:23-04:00
We work with startups from all over the world. Most cohorts operate out of an anchor location (currently in either the Triangle region of NC, Eastern NC, or Northern VA), but are offered in a hybrid format.
We believe in the power of face-time, so we bring cohorts together in-person on certain days or weeks of the program, but also offer virtual programming. The exact hybrid schedule may look different cohort to cohort– don’t hesitate to reach out to the RIoT team to determine which upcoming program best fits your needs.
I don’t live in NC or VA. Can I still apply?Tom Snyder2022-08-05T16:15:33-04:00
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 if I don’t think my team or product is quite ready for an accelerator program?reifymedia2022-08-05T16:16:50-04:00
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.
RAP provided us with key partnerships with tech powerhouses such as ARROW and Microsoft to drive our product development. RIoT has done an incredible job of keeping us connected with the community.
Zachary Fearnside, CTO & Co-founder, Aeva Labs
RAP was more than worth the time investment. From the education sessions, to the mentoring and coaching, to the networking and exposure, we’ve gained knowledge, partners and potential customers. And…we really appreciated the new friends we made in the cohort.
Karen Lindquist, COO, Greenstream Technologies
The best aspect of RAP was the breadth and quality of the network and mentors. Whether they worked for tech giants or outstanding local firms, every mentor I met was engaged, curious by nature, never transactional, and genuinely helpful.
Ember Melcher, CPO, NIRSleep
RAP is THE quintessential startup tutorial – beyond IoT fundamentals, a broad and thorough purview of positioning, building, and taking product to market, and governing, funding, and growing your business. You start RAP with an idea, and graduate with a company.
Booth Kalmbach, CEO & Founder, Trilliott
RAP is the immersive experience my company needed to gain expertise about RFID. We can now speak confidently about our new technology and navigate the industry.
Crystal Dreisbach, CEO & Founder, GreenToGo
RIoT has opened many huge doors for us, including opportunities with some of the biggest players in the wireless space, entrepreneurial community and venture funding circles.
Rich Brancaccio, CEO & Founder, Fokus Labs
It is obvious that the RAP curriculum is thoughtfully laid out and then executed by experts who truly care about accelerating your business. Every step of the way the programming aligned with my business' needs and helped to push us forward. RAP created accountability and momentum that would be hard, if not impossible, to generate independently which has continued to grow post-program.
Michael Bender, Founder & CEO, Intake
RAP has been the catalyst for understanding and executing our near-term business strategy. This accelerator provoked the thought and discussion necessary for setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them.
Steven Walther, Founder & CEO, Continuous Precision Medicine
RAP provided our team with so many great resources, access to tech startup assistance, and much needed weekly mentoring sessions. I am excited that we were able to be a part of this enriching program. Through RIoT, we received an abundance of positive encouragement from our peers. They continuously motivated us to keep pushing, and to not give up on our entrepreneurial goals.
Aubrey Yeboah, Cofounder & CMO, BatteryXchange
The mentorship and tactical workshops were our favorite things about the RAP program. We still meet monthly with our RAP mentors several months after graduating the program. Their generosity of time and expertise has been unmatched in any other accelerator we have been a part of, ranging from making introductions for us to helping us think through tough problems to giving us invaluable feedback.
Tai Huynh, Co-Founder & CEO, Acta Solutions
I can unequivocally state that without the support, mentorship, and connections formed by our participation in the RIoT Ecosystem, BlueRecruit may not have survived to soon see its two year anniversary. If any entrepreneurs are considering applying to be a part of this incredible opportunity, I would tell them to stop thinking and start filling out that application.
Rich Camacho, CEO & Co-Founder, BlueRecruit
Keepsake Tales was thrilled to be included in the last RAP cohort and would strongly encourage other interested startups to apply to the program. The programming is created with early-stage founders in mind, and we gained a lot of value from revisiting old assumptions, and from learning new frameworks to set us on a strong foundation for future growth. The best part of the program for us was the mentorship and guidance of Tom, Rachael, and our mentor team. RIoT consistently demonstrated the rare ability to equip our team with constructive feedback that we can use today, in addition to helping us form strong strategies for the long-term. Their ability to help us navigate deep in the weeds, and then to jump way up to the bigger strategic picture was (and remains) super helpful. RIoT is a great community and we are thrilled to belong here.