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Wednesday night, more than 70 Internet of Things enthusiasts turned out for the first Raleigh Internet of Things Meetup [RIoT] at our StepLeader office in downtown Raleigh. To accommodate that many people, we physically disassembled walls in our office. The crowd did not disappoint.

The standing-room only crowd witnessed four 5-minute introductions from companies in differing industries and at various stages of development.

Scott Moody of K4Connect shared his startup's vision to standardize the communication protocols of the IoT space, the team's relentless and exclusive focus on product development and the reason they hired a Norwegian super yacht designer (stay tuned for the product's release).

Rob Katz of the IT consultancy and software development shop Webonise Lab gave brief introductions to the many facets of the business, including new activities like beacon app development and deployment, as well as drone manufacturing. One project is for client WineHawk Labs, a "Bird," or unmanned aerial remote sensing vehicle that collects data about crops and terrain for farmers.

Entigral Systems' Booth Kalmbach summed up his Triangle-based company's 10-year history working in enterprise IoT before it was even called IoT. They tag everything with RFID: tools, inventory, people, spaces. Very cool.

Finally, Cary resident and medical writer Jeff Wojtowicz pitched his idea for deploying IoT to creating more effective transportation solutions (i.e. infrastructure and commuting). Immediately after sharing his concept, he was surrounded by attendees asking more questions and providing suggestions.

Also on-hand was David Young of Washington D.C.-based Radius Networks, a beacon manufacturer and platform developer (with beacons we're testing at StepLeader). Attendees experienced a live beacon-powered scavenger hunt in the StepLeader parking lot.

With most events like these, the real magic happens from the individual conversations. The 'speed dating' approach to the presentations served as the catalyst for hundreds of conversations and introductions.

The pizza-filled bellies, the beer flowed freely, and the networking lasted until we bounced people out the door at 8pm. The event was a success and we look forward to the next RIoT Meetup.

Moody hit the nail on the head. He believes that the Triangle can become the hub, the center of the universe, for the Internet of Things industry. I agree.

I predict a RIoT.

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