The Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIOT) at Northeastern University is spearheading a technological revolution that is set to redefine the very fabric of society. At the recent Industry Day 23 event held on May 10, WIOT unveiled its latest technological breakthroughs, showcasing its ongoing collaborations with an illustrious roster of government, industry, and academic partners.
WIOT’s multidimensional approach to creating a smarter, more efficient, and secure internet is underpinned by a steadfast commitment to designing and researching wired and wireless networked systems, training the next generation of wireless and IoT professionals, serving as a technical incubator, and operating as a think tank to influence and shape industry standards and policies. The institute’s mission is to lead the charge in research, to train the next generation of industry trailblazers, to shape and influence the global conversation on connectivity, and to generate intellectual property and software for commercialization through spinoffs and industry.
With over $20 million in new grants secured in 2021, WIOT is at the vanguard of revolutionizing the IoT landscape. Its strategic alliances with industry powerhouses have created a synergy of interdisciplinary expertise, enabling the institute to shape the wireless internet of the future. WIOT’s Director, Tommaso Melodia, underscored the institute’s pivotal role in laying the foundation for researchers and entrepreneurs to drive innovation and push the limits of IoT technology to new frontiers.
The event held a captivating panel discussion on “Institute and Entrepreneurial Opportunities” by industry experts who shared valuable insights on the crucial factors for startups to acquire capital funding, the significance of Intellectual Property (IP) concerning commercialization, and the outlook for young startups in terms of growth and funding opportunities in the industry.
The panel speakers included Northeastern’s Center for Research Innovation (CRI) Myron Kassaraba, Director of Commercialization, Mark Castleman, Managing Director of Intel Ignite at Intel Corporation, Russ Wilcox, Partner at Pillar VC, Stacy Swider, Vice President of Investments at Mass Ventures, and Myron Kassaraba outlined the significance of protecting and commercializing IP in the long term, emphasizing that Northeastern University is one of the first investors in ideas emerging from academia, supporting its researchers in funding their ideas and protecting their IP through patents. He also underscored the importance of filing patents and transforming them into something fruitful, which he believes depends on the investor or entrepreneur’s ability to bring the idea to life. “In the end, a patent is just a piece of paper,” Kassaraba said. “It is up to the entrepreneur or investor to turn that piece of paper into something truly valuable.” He encouraged entrepreneurs to be patient, emphasizing that the current period is a great time to pursue one’s entrepreneurial goals despite the higher expectations.
Mark Castleman highlighted the lack of a one-size-fits-all solution to acquiring capital funding and emphasized the importance of building a strong team in the startup ecosystem, citing that most startups fail due to poor team dynamics rather than inadequate technology. He also emphasized the significance of DeepTech startups in solving real-world problems and encouraged entrepreneurs to prioritize customer engagement over IP concerns.
Russ Wilcox, on the other hand, stressed the importance of academia-based individuals’ readiness to accept risk and the freedom to operate in the startup landscape, adding that there are currently fewer venture capitalists seeking to invest, making it a great time for entrepreneurs to build their startups.
Stacy Swider underlined the bright prospects for DeepTech startups and the importance of networking and choosing a wise team. She also noted that timing and market size were the critical factors determining funding and encouraged entrepreneurs to leverage the available resources at Northeastern University to achieve their goals.
The event was a veritable feast for the intellectually curious, offering an enthralling glimpse into the latest advancements in the field of wireless technology, replete with a series of research presentations from the institute’s distinguished faculty members. In essence, the WIOT Industry Day 23 event was a resounding success, underscoring WIOT’s unwavering commitment to driving innovation and creating a smarter, more connected world. With its multidimensional approach, strategic partnerships, and groundbreaking research, WIOT is poised to shape the future of IoT and pave the way for a new era of technological progress and entrepreneurship.