Editor’s note: Lauryn Colatuno is Director of Marketing and Communications for RIoT, a fast-growing multi-state Internet of Things user group. Tom Snyder, its executive director, is a contributing columnist to WRAL TechWire.


RALEIGH – RIoT Demo Night on Monday at the Raleigh Convention Center in collaboration with All Things Open made news across a spectrum of interests.

Tech enthusiasts, ATO conference-goers, RIoT sponsors, and entrepreneurs enjoyed an evening of networking, tech demos, and a chance to invest in RAP (RIoT Accelerator Program) startups.

RIoT Demo Night is an annual event that has become a tradition in the tech community. For the past ten years, RIoT has partnered with All Things Open to bring an evening filled with new and emerging technology demonstrations and the opportunity to connect with companies in the hardware, software, and IOT space. Attendees could visit exhibitors’ booths, network with technology companies and industry professionals, and watch demos of their products, some of which were being shown for the first time. Over 400 hundred people attended the event this year.

RIoT Demo Night draws a crowd in Raleigh. (Photo courtesy of RIoT)

All Things Open has been a huge part of the ongoing success of RIoT Demo Night for the past decade. Todd Lewis and his team host an incredible conference that is by far our favorite of the year. The RIoT team enjoyed exhibiting at and attending ATO this year. As always, the organizers created an event that was positive, fun, diverse, and inclusive to all.

The presentations and keynote speakers were top notch highlighting topics such as generative AI, including how developers can capitalize on opportunities in the AI space, prompt engineering and so much more. Other keynote presenters spoke about the openness in cybersecurity, the importance of community in tech and nurturing that community.

If you missed ATO this year be sure to view all the sessions and keynotes on the All Things Open YouTube channel. Next year’s dates are already set, so mark your calendars for October 27-29, 2024!

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Keynote Speakers

We kicked off Demo Night this year with two spectacular women keynotes; Beth Digiovanni, Senior Advisor for the Future of Work – Langley Research Center at NASA, and Dr. Katy Salamati, Sr. Manager in Global Technology Marketing at SAS.

We were thrilled to have Beth Digiovanni join us from NASA to speak about the Moon to Mars program, developing technologies and operations for future human journeys to Mars.

“The Moon to Mars program is significantly more complex than when we went to the moon 50 years ago, and we have a lot to prove to be able to make a trip to Mars a reality,” Digiovanni said

“It took the Apollo astronauts four days to reach the Moon. With present technology, it will take around 3 days and it will take about nine months to reach Mars. By the time the planets align for a return, a complete mission could take more than two years. Throughout that time, astronauts will need food, water, oxygen, and protection from radiation. We will develop technologies that make all of this possible and will work to get there and back in less time. These technologies will benefit mankind for generations to come. ”

Dr. Salamati gave a presentation on the SAS Viya Workbench focusing on the value of AI and Analytics lifecycle, followed by a live demo on stage. “The SAS Viya workbench, our lightweight scalable environment for SAS and open source coders, is our newest addition to the portfolio of SAS products that deliver the value of AI and Analytics lifecycle.”

The SAS Viya workbench promotes a multi-language architecture, enabling users to rapidly build highly performant and production-ready models in their preferred language – Python, R or SAS. RIoT Demo Night attendees got a first look at this new product and even got to play Smart Darts that use computer vision powered by SAS Event Stream Processing from SAS IoT Division.

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RIoT Startup competition

Every attendee was given $1,000 “Larry Bucks” as a tribute to Larry Steffann, one of the co-founders of RIoT. They could then use the “bucks” to “invest” in the exhibitor of their choice. The exhibitor with the most “Larry bucks” won!

A big congratulations to Phase Dock (1st place) and Intake Health (2nd place)!

“Phase Dock has been exhibiting since 2018. and RIOT Demo Night is the event we look forward to every year.  RIOT and ATO are great hosts. The other exhibitors bring their A-game, and there’s always something new and interesting to see.   Every year we make more new friends, find new start-ups to collaborate with, and go away more energized,” said Barbara Lehenbauer, Business and Marketing Manager, Phase Dock.

The engagement and positive feedback received from attendees and exhibitors clearly demonstrated the success of RIoT Demo Night. Here are a selection of comments shared by event-goers:

  • “The night was a true testament to the type of community that RIoT fosters — we’ve done events before but the interest, engagement, and genuineness of the people at the event was not something we’ve seen before. It was a great experience and we can’t speak highly enough of the RIoT folks and the benefit they are bringing to the startup world here.” – Gloria Folaron, Founder of Leantime
  • “Demo Night was a great event for SAS.  It was really valuable to connect with our SAS users and new friends and network with our peers casually.  It was a great opportunity for us to share the value of SAS Viya Workbench with Open Source enthusiasts at the conference and show the power of SAS ESP with our Smart Darts activation using computer vision.  It’s so fun to see people get super excited and (re)introduced to the power of SAS!  We cannot wait till next year!” – Christina Eyuboglu, Senior IoT Partner Marketing Manager, SAS
  • “The Triangle start-up scene is one of the most collaborative and supportive communities in the country. RIoT’s Demo Night provides founders with valuable opportunities to connect, share, and validate their products, ideas, and messaging. We are excited to be building again and grateful for the support from RIoT and the ATO attendees.” – Lia Reich, co-founder Cloneable.ai 

Mark your calendars and get ready for RIoT Demo Night 2024 on October 27th as we eagerly look forward to next year’s event.

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About RIoT

RIoT is an economic development organization headquartered in Raleigh, NC with offices in Stafford, VA, Wilson, NC, and Wake Forest, NC. RIoT also hosts Meetup chapters in RTP, Charlotte, Atlanta, Virginia, Colorado, Wilson

At RIoT, our mission is to enable innovation, promote economic growth, and advance technology for the betterment of communities. RIoT facilitates an industry consortium of 90+ corporate partners supporting IoT, data, emerging technologies, and technology broadly – from HR, legal, and operations to connected development, cloud computing platforms, software development, product development, and more. RIoT supports innovation and ideas through the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). RAP has supported 80+ startups since 2018, which have collectively driven $100M+ in revenue and created 250+ jobs. Additionally, RIoT executes innovation programs for established corporations and for state and municipal governments.