RIoT Accelerator2019-11-26T19:34:04+00:00
RIoT Accelerator Program

Startups — apply now to participate in the 12-week high-touch RIoT Accelerator Program. RAP increases the impact of traditional business development resources by connecting you with an industry consortium of more than 80 companies across the IoT technology stack to learn, partner, and bring your product to market. 

Applications accepted on a rolling basis and considered for each cohort after the associated application deadline.

Spring 2020 Cohort | February 24th to May 15th | Wilson, NC

Application deadline December 16, 2019 at 5pm EST

Summer 2020 Cohort | May 26th to August 14th | Raleigh, NC

Application deadline March 30, 2020 at 5pm EST 

Fall 2020 Cohort | August 24th to November 13th | Raleigh, NC 

Application deadline June 29, 2020 at 5pm EST

Check back as more program dates and locations will be added in 2020. 

Learn more about the RIoT Accelerator Program from our webinar:

RIoT Accelerator Program Alumni

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.

See the launch story here.

Who Should Apply?

RIoT supports dozens of startups–many of which may not look like classic tech companies. RAP seeks innovative ideas from companies and entrepreneurs that recognize the the opportunity to leverage the data economy. 

Three paths into the program:

  1. Apply as an early stage startup or existing small business
  2. 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
  3. 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 Requirements

Team size requirement: 2 full time preferred, 1 full time minimum.

Must be available to participate in person through the 3-month program. Content is a mix of on-site workshop programming and mentorship and dedicated time to work on your company.


Download the application here. Once you complete the written application, submit your application here.


What kinds of startups are best suited for RAP?2019-05-13T20:11:40+00:00

RAP is industry and stage agnostic. In past programs we have supported tech startups in public safety, environmental monitoring, healthcare, manufacturing, and consumer products. 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 makes for a strong application into RAP?2019-05-13T20:20:32+00:00

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?2019-05-13T20:24:37+00:00

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). At a minimum, an application serves as a data point for future applications you may submit if the timing and fit are not right for the near-term– not to mention a low-commitment and worthwhile exercise.

What does a typical week during the program look like?2019-11-02T19:56:15+00:00

Typically, you will participate in 2-3 workshops and 2-3 mentoring sessions each week during the program. The weekly programmed time commitment is about 8 hours. We keep programming to a consistent schedule so your week is predictable and ample time is open for executing on your business.

How many teams does RIoT accept into the program?2019-05-13T20:29:36+00:00

We accept 6-10 teams in each cohort, and usually have a mix of early-stage startups and corporate teams.  

What kind of corporate project scope is well suited to leverage RAP?2019-05-13T20:31:10+00:00

Corporate teams interested in participating in RAP (either through placing a team in the program or working with RIoT to source a team), should be exploring an innovative IoT project that represents an unmet market need or an entirely new product offering. The opportunity should present a potential revenue expectation of at least $100k annually. 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 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, Green Stream Technologies

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

The best aspect of RAP was the breadth and quality of RIoT’s 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

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