U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $500,000 to Support Entrepreneurship Efforts in North Carolina

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $500,000 to Support Entrepreneurship Efforts in North Carolina
WAKE FOREST, N.C. & WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced that The Wireless Research Center of NC has been awarded a $500,000 grant to enable RIoT Labs to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. Specifically, the grant will fund a new RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP), based in Raleigh, NC. RAP provides a robust support ecosystem that includes strong university, corporate and government resources for startups in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. RIoT’s mission is to make North Carolina a global hub for IoT services, technologies and talent. Economic development partners in the community, including The Launch Place, NC IDEA, and corporate sponsors, have been vital to the growth of this ecosystem.


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“The Trump Administration is committed to strengthening U.S. production and exports, which are essential to our nation’s economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
“These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United states to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products, and export them throughout the world – increasing America’s global competitiveness.” The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), leads the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. The program is authorized through the America COMPETES reauthorization Act of 2010, and has received dedicated appropriations since FY2014.

42 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship focused organizations from 28 states received over $17 million to create and expand clusterfocused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through RIS. This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. The awardees were selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.

To learn more about the Regional Innovation Strategies program and the awardee projects, visit eda.gov and the FAQs.

Headquartered in Wake Forest, NC, the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRC) is a nonprofit organization that offers engineering services and testing for wireless communications. The WRC founded NCRIoT.org in 2014 to expand its reach into the market growth opportunity of IoT. Twice awarded the Golden Leaf Foundation grant, WRC facilitates entrepreneurial development for wireless-enabled technologies. Its global customer base produces a diverse range of wireless products ranging from transceivers to medical devices and rural broadband.

WRC fosters collaboration among industry partners, academic institutions and research organizations, and is a CTIA-certified testing facility. For more information, visit
www.wirelesscenter-nc.org.

RIoT is the largest Internet of Things and disruptive technology economic development organization in the US. RIoT has more than 55 corporate sponsors, numerous university and government partners and nearly 5000 individual participants. RIoT Labs is an incubator and engineering prototyping lab for startup companies to build and test their products and services, working side-by-side with RIoT partner organizations. For more information, contact Tom Snyder (tom@ncriot.org) or visit www.ncriot.org.

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