Event recap: North Carolina Internet of Things Developer Day

We recently had the pleasure of sponsoring and presenting at a Developer Day workshop hosted by the North Carolina Raleigh IoT group (NC RIoT). NC RIoT is a non-profit supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology growth. 

Yujing Wu and I presented an overview of the ARTIK Cloud platform and how it addresses the major challenges of IoT. You can see our presentation slides below:

We had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Snyder, Executive Director of NC RIoT and co-instructor in the Forbes award-winning Product Innovation Lab at North Carolina State, to learn more about the IoT opportunities in North Carolina and his organization.

What was the inspiration behind starting NC RioT?
RIoT was initially an effort to bring people together to educate about the Internet of Things opportunity. It quickly grew once we saw the immense interest from government, academia and industry to be involved, yet the lack of an organizing voice to pull the community together.

Our mission now is to bring people and organizations across the entire IoT value chain together so that collectively they can maximize the economic opportunity of the Data Economy. We believe IoT will be a cornerstone of the future economy. RIoT’s impact on building the Data Economy is core to our economic development mission, creating great quality jobs today and for the future.

What is the IoT space for hardware and software like in North Carolina?
North Carolina is incredibly well positioned for IoT. The region has a great balance of hardware, software, data and communications expertise—largely rooted in the big companies that drove Research Triangle Park. RIoT helps connect this deep expertise to an energetic and diverse entrepreneurial community that has exploded over the last few years.

Importantly, North Carolina has a broad balance of industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to healthcare, telecom, banking and transportation. The fundamental IoT platform technologies being developed here can be scaled horizontally across all these industries, creating a great opportunity for local companies to remain focused on their core competency, while being near a wide range of customers and markets. This is an advantage compared to other regions in the U.S. that are dominated by a single market segment.

The skill set developed and early investment by our region has positioned North Carolina to lead the growth of IoT nationally.

What do you feel as though are the critical pain points in IoT that have not yet been addressed?
Like any emerging market, there are challenges that remain to be solved. RIoT is bringing speakers from around the country to Durham later this month to discuss the opportunity to improve IoT system security, as an example. These “pain points” are simply opportunities for companies to make money. There are a lot of competing solutions out there and it will be exciting to see what solutions win out.

The good news is that several tipping points have been achieved. Sensors are becoming nano-scale. Data storage and analytics costs are nearing zero. Wireless data communication costs are nearing zero. Hardware and software developer tools are inexpensive and have large and energetic support communities. It requires minimal investment to start an IoT company today, which is a huge advantage compared to even a few years ago.

What are the investment opportunities in North Carolina?
We have a strong diversity of industries here that are being transformed by connecting the physical and digital worlds. There are exciting companies in the health and fitness space, in industrial IoT, in agriculture and consumer products. Smart city applications are a massive opportunity. The list goes on. I encourage investors to look not only at specific applications, but how the underlying tech can be adapted to other markets. The relative low cost of starting a business here, coupled with one of the highest educational levels in the country and access to talent from three local tier one universities, makes North Carolina an attractive place to invest.

What are your goals for 2017?
RIoT will hold several events across the country this year, not restricted to North Carolina. We recognize that startups and international sponsors benefit from broader visibility. Locally, we are excited to be opening RIoT Labs this month in downtown Raleigh. One big piece of the IoT value chain is the physical device. RIoT Labs will include an engineering prototyping facility for startups to build and test their product concepts without the capital outlay to set up a lab. We’re coupling this with access to subject matter expertise in analytics, connectivity, packaging and other areas. Companies large and small are welcome to embed employees in the space. I can’t wait to look back in a few years and see what successful companies are launched from RIoT Labs.

Thanks to all of the NC RiOT members who attended our Developer Day! Interested in attending an ARTIK Cloud Developer workshop in North Carolina? Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on our workshops.