Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
February 15, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Executive Director of RIoT questions North Carolina’s economic development priorities

Tom Snyder raised the issue of large incentive packages going to big corporations and very little earmarked for start-up creation and support.

This had to be music to the ears of North Carolina entrepreneurs.

At the sixth annual State of the Region event in Raleigh, NC last week, Tom Snyder, Executive Director of RIoT, delivered a talk that reviewed the state’s economic activity and innovation ranking and raised questions about the Tar Heel State’s economic priorities.

During his remarks as reported by WRAL TechWire, Snyder questioned the efficacy of large tax incentive packages that North Carolina’s state and local governments offer to large employers or manufacturers, and he suggested that the funding be reallocated to entrepreneurs.

“Most of the economic health and vitality is in the small business sector,” said Snyder in his talk. “And yet, even at a municipal level, when you look at economic development strategy, it’s spending a lot of money on site development. It’s spending money to bring utilities to a spot and trying to attract a large employer or manufacturer. North Carolina is fantastic at doing this.”

He mentioned VinFast, Boom Supersonic, and Bosch as examples of companies that recently received large incentive packages from North Carolina’s state and local governments. (For VinFast, the state and local incentives total nearly $1.25 billion; for Boom Supersonic, nearly $130 million; for Bosch, nearly $4 million.)

“These are some of the big wins that create ribbon-cutting moments for elected officials,” Snyder told the audience. “It’s much more difficult to say, ‘Hey, look at this start-up company; they just went from three jobs to seven jobs.’ Right? That doesn’t get a lot of head nods.”

He added that, “When you look at the actual budget in North Carolina at a state legislative level, there’s nearly zero for entrepreneurial-driven economic development.”

The text of Snyder’s entire speech can be found here.

Established in 2014 as a meet-up group, RIoT has grown significantly to become a prominent Internet of Things (IoT) community hub. Evolving into an industry consortium with 90 plus corporate partners across diverse sectors, including IoT, data, and emerging technologies, RIoT serves as a nexus for collaboration. The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) is a key initiative, supporting more than 80 start-ups since 2018, generating $100 million in revenue, and creating 250 plus job opportunities.

Beyond start-ups, RIoT drives innovation for corporations, governments, and Smart City initiatives, actively contributing to technological advancement and economic growth.

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!