Blackstone NC Sponsors Raleigh Internet of Things

RALEIGH & DURHAM, N.C. -- The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC), a Triangle-based business cultivator focused on growing opportunity and strengthening economic development, recently sponsored the Raleigh Internet of Things (RIoT) event at HQ Raleigh organized by StepLeader and the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina. The September 30 meeting of 50+ area technologists examined issues related to the interconnectivity of computing devices embedded in everyday life.

“The Internet of Things -- the connectivity of devices, systems and services -- will affect every part of our daily personal and business life. Start-ups are developing applications for environmental, industrial, energy, healthcare, home automation and transportation.  We project significant growth in the market from the smart thermostats of today to health monitoring devices connected directly to your provider to devices and systems that will enable smarter, more effective efforts like search and rescue missions,” Blackstone NC Executive Director Bob Creeden said, adding, “These are the types of high-potential startups Blackstone NC is looking to grow into the next generation of great companies.

“It made perfect sense for us to be involved in RIoT,” he said.

RIoT included presentations by Connected Development, Verizon, Device Solutions and IBM. This is the second RIoT meeting, with another being tentatively planned this fall.

Reports by trusted industry organizations and international corporations like Gartner and Cisco are predicting the IoT market will be worth $300 billion in the next six years, and between 25-50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. Industry media re reporting major issues related to the IoT are coming to light, such as alliances forming to develop IoT standards and protocol between industry giants like Cisco, Microsoft, LG, HTC, Google, AT&T, GE, IBM, Dell, Samsung and others.

In addition, there is growing competition between technology and telecom groups to grab a piece of the IoT market.

“Experience and active involvement in various market sectors is essential to keeping up with changes and developments in areas such as the IoT,” Creeden explained, pointing to Blackstone NC’s unique Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program as one way of connecting up-and-coming companies with state-of-the-art industry resources.

The EIRs, who work with Blackstone NC portfolio companies, bring expertise and experience in collectively raising $750M and realizing more than $4B in exit values to one-on-one and team interactions with promising startups.

Blackstone NC continues to remain involved in important business and technology events in the Triangle and statewide, having recently participated in the hugely successful Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference in Wilmington; Innovate Raleigh; the Second Annual NC Datapalooza; and the 30th Annual CED Tech Venture Conference. This targeted, substantive involvement in North Carolina’s entrepreneurial ecosystem helps Blackstone NC make quality connections between promising young technology companies and experienced, successful professionals, creating a dense network of dealmakers and contributing to economic growth.

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About the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC) makes quality connections between promising young technology companies and experienced, successful professionals in an effort to grow opportunity and strengthen economic development. Launched in 2011 with a gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Blackstone NC is an important business cultivator in the state, with portfolio companies making over 700 connections and raising $48.8M in 2013. The organization helps entrepreneurs find their roles and works with them to understand what specific actions are necessary to lead to an investment, then connects those entrepreneurs with individuals and resources to successfully commercialize their products. Blackstone NC focuses on a team approach to strengthening the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, partnering with area universities, advocacy groups, business leaders, investors, and the innovation community at large to provide unparalleled access to sought-after resources. Through its unique Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and Blackstone Fellows programs, the organization provides participating companies with tactical and strategic guidance, connections to investment and invaluable insight. Learn more online at