Recap of RIoT XI: RIoT’s First Charlotte Event

Posted on: Monday, August 8th, 2016

On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016, a major event occurred for Charlotte’s tech community. This day marked the first time NC RIoT was hosted in Charlotte. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 288 attendees discussed the Internet of Things, and the opportunities it presents, at UNC Charlotte City Center.

For those of you who might be new to it, NC RIoT, or North Carolina Regional Internet of Things, is a group of technologists, engineers, business leaders, academics, policy makers and entrepreneurs, who all have a vested interest in the Internet of Things. This group meets regularly to exchange ideas, learn new technologies and create new opportunities. In fact, at the August 2nd event, several attendees and sponsors brought inventions with them, including Dan Thyer’s robo-greeter (more on this below) and tweet shirt.

While most Charlotte IoT events are technical, NC RIoT XI is geared toward a broader audience, with an increased focus on business and economic growth.

Speakers included Dan Roselli, Founding and Managing Director of QueenCity Fintech; Jeffrey Sural, Acting General Counsel Director, Broadband Infrastructure Office, NC Department of Information Technology; Dave Giles, Meridian IT; and Senator Jeff Jackson.

While this event was similar to other NC RIoT events, what made it different (and, for us, even better) was that it was hosted in Charlotte. (Oh, and there was also Dan Thyer’s waving robot hand, which we mentioned earlier. It greeted the crowd using voice commands controlled by Amazon Echo.)

The event featured several sponsors, including Logical Advantage (designated beer sponsor), Wireless Research Center, Reveal Mobile, IBM, IEEE, Atmel, ST Microelectonics, Linx Technologies, NCIDEA, sas and NXP.

Beyond our beer sponsorship, the Logical Advantage team played a hands-on role in ensuring RIoT was a successful event for all involved.

Greg Smith and Kori Register managed the Logical Advantage booth, and Kori was in charge of organizing beer.

While Larry Steffann, Matthew Davis and Tom Snyder did most of the preparation, Dan was on the steering committee that planned the event. As you know, Logical Advantage strives to continue being one of the state’s key leaders in IoT technology. For months, Thyer had been lobbying with RIoT leadership to hold the meeting in Charlotte; Logical Advantage and Charlotte IoT have both helped to promote the event in the past. Dan knows what we all know, which is that Charlotte’s technology economy is thriving and is an asset to making sure North Carolina is recognized as a top area in the world for IoT growth and development.

A month before the event, the RIoT steering committee met in Charlotte, where they planned the speakers, location and strategy for recruiting sponsors. And we are excited to announce Charlotte IoT is now an official chapter of NC RIoT!

IoT events, and the NC RIoT event in particular, are excellent opportunities for the tech community to get business leaders and government officials thinking about IoT and technology that can drive the economy. And, according to the excellent feedback received on the event’s Meetup page, these opportunities were successfully seized and discussed.

“I got connected with two companies that are going to solve some big problems for my company. This is EXACTLY what these meetings are supposed to do—connect people to solve business problems,” said attendee Brian McKeon in a comment on Meetup.

Another event attendee, and one of the main organizers from RIoT, Tom Snyder, commented, “Thank you, Charlotte! Appreciate the warm welcome and warm discussions. Your community clearly understands the IoT opportunity, and we look forward to working with you to turn that opportunity into reality.”

“A fantastic gathering of like-minded people at the gorgeous UNC Charlotte City Center,” wrote Melissa Martin. “I met great people, and we started some great conversations.”

“I think it was a great introduction to what RIoT and the broader community is about,” commented Mike Gorman, “opportunities and synergies within the community.”

Needless to say, the event was a hit, and we can’t wait to travel to RIoT meetings in other cities. Although the next big RIoT event isn’t scheduled until March 2017, the Charlotte IoT group meets monthly, and for those interested, the September meeting will be a hands-on lab.

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Say hello to RIoT's newest team member, Chris Meyer! Chris is a serial #entrepreneur, managed the R+D team at Sphero, #makers of the tech in Star Wars’ BB8 droid, and was a founding team member of Misty Robotics.

Chris is building a healthy, robust RIoT chapter in #Colorado.

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