MEETThe RIoT Squad

Keeping a RIoT under control ain’t easy.

Tom SnyderExecutive Director

Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. By day he runs RIoT Labs at HQ Raleigh. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multi-disciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State.

Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation in NC.

He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, boardgames, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.

Larry SteffannFounder

Larry’s career spans 35 years deeply entrenched in technology. Mr. Steffann held several roles with a number of startups, from advisor, angel investor and as executive/founder. He served in senior executive roles at two publicly traded companies, CEO of NSO/AMEX and COO BOCI/Nasdaq.

As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Steffann’s recent roles have included GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and VP of Product Development for Consert, a Smart Energy start up in Raleigh North Carolina. Consert raised more than $40 million in funding prior to being sold to Toshiba. Larry Co-Founded Joystick Labs, the initial tenant of the American Underground at the American Tobacco Campus, in Durham, NC.

As GM of WRC Mr. Steffann also Founded NC RIOT and RIoT Labs. RIoT, has grown its membership to nearly 4,000, representing hundreds of companies, and is now doing events and programs nationally.

He now applies this combination of executive leadership and hands on mentorship to economic development – the primary mission of The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and RIoT. The Wireless Center and RIoT are poised to support the growth of Smart Cities, 5G and IoT.

Caroline GriffinEvent and Operations Manager

Caroline works at the heart of everything RIoT. As Event & Operations Manager, she keeps the organization running smoothly and manages all the details of our world-class workshops and RIoTs. She manages corporate communications and is the primary architect of the popular Lunch and Learn series.

Prior to RIoT, Caroline held a number of positions with event planning and sponsorship raising responsibilities. A graduate of the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University, Caroline started with RIoT as a summer intern in college before joining the team full time after graduation.

While Caroline is not at work, she enjoys traveling and meeting new people.

Rachael MeleneyProgram Director

Rachael Meleney joined the RIoT team to launch and direct the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). Rachael drives curriculum development, builds relationships in the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, and supports RAP’s growing community of IoT startups.

Previously, Rachael launched a first-of-its-kind startup incubator at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight under Dan Ariely. The CAH’s Startup Lab supported health and finance startups in leveraging behavioral science, rigorous experimentation, and close partnerships with behavioral researchers. Rachael got hooked on supporting startup processes and entrepreneurship education through her involvement with Reese News Lab, an experimental media ventures organization at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, and The Startup Factory, a downtown Durham tech accelerator.

When she’s not exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and different disciplines, Rachael’s creative outlets of choice are dance, writing, and interior design. Rachael is a Durham native and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill.