Floods, Sleep and Cremation: Introducing the Latest RAP Startups

2019-07-01T20:28:19+00:00January 8th, 2019|

In 2019, RIoT continues our commitment to support high-potential startups. Entrepreneurs who are pursuing groundbreaking IoT business opportunities are essential parts of growing our ecosystem and further solidify our region as the global center of excellence for IoT.

To that end, we are excited to announce the incoming cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). Click here to jump down and read descriptions of the startups.

ANNOUNCING THE INCOMING RAP COHORT

This diverse group of startups will join us in January in Raleigh to dedicate themselves to accelerating their business and technical growth, connecting into the local IoT and entrepreneurship community, learning from and collaborating with RIoT’s rich ecosystem of partners.

Out of a competitive application pool, RIoT is thrilled to be working with startups from a variety of industries, geographies, and backgrounds.

In the smart cities space, we have an environmental monitoring company relocating to the Triangle from Virginia. Green Stream Technologies has launched a flood monitoring system that’s operational in several east coast municipalities. The team sees Raleigh’s thriving IoT community as a strategic location to put down roots.

Another startup from outside the state, Florida-based AVidea, has developed a gunshot detection device that has fascinating potential in connected buildings and smart cities applications. Their technology can significantly reduce first response times in active shooter situations.

From our own backyard, we have two med-tech companies commercializing technology from NC State research. VitalFlo, a preventative monitoring device for chronic respiratory conditions, has been part of the RIoT ecosystem for years, as one of our first pitch competition participants. We’re now excited to work with VitalFlo to accelerate new team members’ growth as the company pursues new technical developments and market opportunities.

NIRSleep, an early stage VA- and NC-based venture, is applying blood flow monitoring technology, out of Dr. Alper Bozkurt’s lab at NC State, to sleep — where diagnostic technologies have not been adapted for several decades.

Teams from our local startup community include Companah, a pet cremation service headquartered in Sanford and with operations in Fuquay Varina, and Purillume, a lighting product from an NC IDEA Labs alum that boosts health and productivity by mimicking natural light. Both are exploring greater IoT plays– ways to leverage IoT for increased efficiencies and enhanced value propositions.

We are thrilled to introduce these early-stage startups into the RAP II Cohort and look forward to connecting them into the broader RIoT community in 2019.

MEET THE STARTUPS

Safe Zone, a gunshot detection device developed by AVidea, uses a network of acoustic and infrared sensors to identify gunshots, alert necessary administrators (when systems are deployed in office buildings or schools for example), and dispatch first responders, helping to end threats more quickly.

From AVidea:

We are excited for the opportunity to network and learn from an extensive team of experienced mentors. We are hoping that the networking connections we make with RIoT will help us identify beta test venues and new business opportunities that we would have missed before.

We just recently closed a $1 million seed round and officially debuted at CES.

 

Companah works with pet owners and veterinary clinics to provide pet cremation services that use environmentally sustainable methods and IoT integrations for operational efficiency and assurance of accuracy.

From Companah: 

At the onset of our MVP stage, we set a goal to eclipse $100k revenue in our first twelve months (starting in January 2018). This was a pretty lofty goal for us – we came in with no experience in this service area, did not have our own equipment, and for the first 10 months, we subcontracted most of our services.

In December of 2018, we beat that revenue goal. We built relationships with dozens of vets and hundreds of clients – all the while doing customer discovery that revealed significant business opportunities.

Now that we have our own operational facility, we need standardization and efficiencies in our own procedures. As our volume grows, we need to be able to scale our process to meet the business opportunities that we see.

We love being around creative professionals who are trying to solve market problems. Shannon and Hal are both NC natives, and having lived in the Raleigh area for many years we’re very excited about where things are headed for families and businesses.

 

Green Stream Technologies is an environmental sensing startup providing end-to-end monitoring and reporting solutions for environmental experts and property/infrastructure managers. Its first service is a real-time flood monitoring system, generating localized high-resolution flood data for better situational awareness, decision-making and risk-modeling.

From Green Stream Technologies: 

We are honored and excited to be providing our devices and services to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management branch, in partnership with environmental engineering firms. Green Stream’s flood sensors are providing data for North Carolina’s Flood Inundation Mapping System. We’re learning and building valuable capabilities from working with these forward-thinking partners.

We welcome the challenge of an intensive program, having to examine what we do and push ourselves further [in RAP]. The challenge may come from assignments, program leaders, peers, or people we meet in the broader RIoT network. The same people who challenge us can also be a supportive community, offering suggestions, introductions, inspiration. We can also learn by supporting others. We think this challenge and support will help us to grow in many ways – strengthen our business model, increase our network, grow our revenues, and build lasting relationships.

We’ve lived in bustling cities most of our lives, and now we are based in Norfolk, Virginia. We’re excited about being in Raleigh/Durham for the vibe – it’s a fast-growing tech region that still has an informal down-home charm. Mostly we want to be part of the IoT pioneer community – living, working, playing and eating in the same area makes it a lot easier.

 

NIRSleep is revolutionizing the cumbersome and legacy practices of sleep measurement. NIRSleep is developing and deploying an unobtrusive infrared sensor that adheres to the user’s forehead to directly monitor oxygen consumption in the brain.

From NIRSleep:

RIoT has a great group of engaged community members from big and small companies, academia, and healthcare. Everyone in the network is energetic and optimistic about the future.

In addition to being accepted to RAP, we recently passed into a competitive late-stage pitch for biomedical solutions to Navy and Air Force challenges inhigh-performancee aircraft. If awarded, the project would accelerate prototype development and testing with the intent to transition directly to deployment and long-term acquisition contracts.

 

Purillume is a science-based smart lighting solution that mimics natural light to help increase productivity and overall happiness.

From Purillume: 

We had our first repeat customer purchase of our lighting solution. After a couple of months with the lamp, they wanted to purchase additional units for their home and office.  

Purillume faces a growth/adoption challenge as the benefits of bright, quality lighting throughout the day are not as well understood.

[I most looks forward to] the knowledge and mentorship in addition to the focus on technology start-ups will help guide Purillume to the next phase.

Although I am local, I have not had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in downtown Raleigh and I am looking forward to exploring the area and trying out new restaurants and shops.  

 

VitalFlo provides preventative respiratory health insights when patients need it most: before they have an asthma attack. VitalFlo’s machine-learning platform forecasts patient risk of respiratory exacerbation by analyzing real-time lung health and environmental exposure data.

From VitalFlo:

After a great deal of work to achieve the required approvals, funding and manufacturing scale-up, VitalFlo recently began its 4th clinical study in partnership with UNC School of Medicine. Over the course of the study, VitalFlo will be scientifically validating its real-time monitoring systems and predictive analytics.

VitalFlo has just made its first non-founder full-time hires. We are so excited to have recruited such a strong group to round our the early team and to drive us forward. It takes a lot of effort to make every onboarding of a great new employee a success. We’re working hard to make it a positive experience for everyone while continuing to make great progress in the business.

VitalFlo has been privileged to be a part of the RIOT community since before it we the company was founded (while we were still an NC State research project)! We are so excited to continue to grow that relationship and to get to know the community of vendors and investors even better through the RAP program.

We love how inviting and encouraging the Raleigh/Durham startup ecosystem is to new founders, new companies and new ideas!