RALEIGH – Larry Steffann, serial entrepreneur and angel investor, founder of NCRIoT, Joystick Labs, the first startup tenant at the American Underground in Durham, and General Manager of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina, has died.

Larry Steffann

Steffann held numerous roles with a several startups, from advisor to angel investor and executive and founder. He also served in executive roles at two publicly traded companies, as CEO of NSO/AMEX and COO of BOCI/Nasdaq.

Most recently, he was General Manager of the Wireless Research Center , a test and engineering facility, and vice president of product development for Consert, a Raleigh-based smart energy IoT startup that raised $40 million prior to being sold to Toshiba.

He co-founded Joystick Labs, which was a mentorship accelerator program focused on finding and launching video game companies and the first tenant of the American Underground at the Durham American Tobacco Campus. It shutdown in 2012.

He cofounded NC RIoT (North Carolina Internet of Things), now the national RIOT, with 5,000 members, in 2014.

In announcing Steffann’s death, HQ Raleigh, where he was a community partner, wrote in part:

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our longtime community partner, Larry Steffann. While this is a time for mourning at the loss of our friend, it is also a time for celebration of the true impact Larry’s life has had upon this community.

“Larry spent over 40 years working in the area of innovation and technology within this community and beyond.

“Most relevant to the HQ Community, Larry Co-Founded RIOT (the Regional Internet of Things). Together with the Wireless Research Center, a world class testing and engineering facility for IoT technologies, RIOT is a front runner in what Larry commonly referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“Above all, Larry was a father, grandfather, and a friend to all those he met. Larry never met a stranger. The only thing that could tower over his immense professional career was his big, sarcastic, fun-loving personality.

“Larry spoke about life, impact, and legacy. Larry knew his time with us was growing short, but with that knowledge, his drive, passion, and purpose to serve those in the community, in which he was deeply rooted, was re-invigorated. He held on tighter, fought harder, and leaned into the challenges at hand to drive innovation forward.

“Larry leaves us with this passion and hope. The passion and hope to build a greater future for the next generation. His strength and wisdom lives on through those who he touched. We are all better for having known him and we will continue carry out the incredible work that Larry begun in this region.

“The HQ and RIOT Community would like to thank Larry for a life lived with purpose.”