NYC Tech Events: IoT Central

IoT Central has grown to nearly 2,800 members in a little more than a year of existence

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.

The Internet of Things has been a rapidly growing sector of the technology scene for quite a while, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Startups and massive companies alike are embracing IoT technology, and it’s no surprise that many NYC-based companies are innovating and helping create a connected world.

Whenever something begins to pick up steam in New York, a meetup group is sure to follow, and in the middle of 2014, Mitchell Golner founded IoT Central.

Similar to the popularity of IoT, the meetup group has experienced rapid growth in a little more than one year — exploding to nearly 2,800 members in that time.

“IoT Central’s mission is to inspire, engage and connect entrepreneurs, investors and professionals and enthusiasts worldwide,” said Golner.

The group typically meets once a month and has a few different types of programs — ranging from demo nights, to panel discussions, to networking events and anything else the community is interested in.

Golner said one of his favorite parts of the meetups has been the “member announcements” portion near the end of each event. That’s when the floor is open for attendees to make a quick announcement, which Golner says have been a good mix of job openings, quick pitches about a product or service and people announcing they are available for new job opportunities.

That kind of inclusion may be one of the many reasons why IoT Central has not only quickly grown to one of the 10 largest IoT meetups in the world, but it’s also comprised of very loyal members.

In December of 2014, Golner and IoT Central hosted the NYC IoT Fair. The event was a success, and it boasted around 500 attendees with 23 companies presenting. The fair was sponsored by leading tech companies, including Microsoft, Samsung, IBM, Verizon, Flextronics, Atmel, Indiegogo, wot.io and others.

Alongside the big-name sponsors and hundreds of attendees, Golner said there was a special detail leading up to the event that still sticks out to him.

“We needed about 30 volunteers for the Fair, so I asked members of the meetup if they would consider volunteering,” Golner said. “There were more than 100 people who offered to volunteer. I was blown away by the response.”

The fact that so many members of IoT Central are dedicated and passionate about the space has helped Golner pick topics, formats and help organize events.

“It’s a community-organized meetup,” Golner said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

What’s Next for IoT?

While a lot of people might think of connected cars, homes and other consumer uses for IoT, Golner said he’s most excited about the potential for advancements in industries like manufacturing, healthcare, Smart Agriculture and Smart Cities.

“IoT has the potential to impact almost every vertical,” Golner said. “While consumers are aware of connected products such as fitness and activity trackers and Smart Home products, the consumer-facing side is just one area in which IoT will impact our lives.”

As IoT continues to grow — both in the consumer world and the B2B world — IoT Central will definitely be there for New Yorkers (and people visiting the city) to connect with other professionals, hobbyists and people who are just interested in the technology’s seemingly limitless possibilities.

Are you an IoT professional, hobbyist or just someone interested in the technology? You can join IoT Central here.

Planning to load test your IoT device? Check out this article from Load Impact blog contributor, Peter Cannell: Load Testing a REST API on a Low-Power IoT Platform.

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