Top 10 IoT Influencers

The Internet of things (IoT) – a network of interconnected, wireless, smart, sensor-based objects that operate without human intervention – able to record and transfer information, streamlining the data collection process and making companies more efficient and providing opportunities for improvement, is all around us. As this industry expands and technologies grow increasingly advanced, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest influencers in the field, and the companies they have transformed.

Here are the top ten IoT influencers we look to as the guiding lights in the field and recommend you follow.

Wolfgang Thieme

BehrTech, CTO

Wolfgang is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of BehrTech, a provider of next generation wireless IoT connectivity solutions for industrial and commercial networks. Wolfgang has over ten years of experience in IoT research and development, implementing new technologies with commercial partners and managing product teams. Before his position at BehrTech, Wolfgang worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Germany, leading the advancement of beginning stage technologies specifically focused on IoT and integrated circuits. This position led him down the path to co-create BehrTech in 2018. In addition to his accomplishments, Wolfgang is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council.


Ayah Bdeir

Entrepreneur and Social Activist

Former CEO and creator of littleBits, an open source electronics start-up acquired by Sphero in 2019, Ayah is using her IoT knowledge combined with her passion for education to help promote change. She is outspoken about making IoT accessible to everyone, and is a proponent for women in the STEM and IoT fields. Today, more than 20 million “Bits” are used by kids, teachers, parents and artists in over 70 countries. And littleBits has won over 150 awards including Toy of the Year. She was ranked as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” in 2013, Entrepreneur magazine’s 10 Up and Coming Leaders to Watch, and as one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream both in 2014.


Bob Nunn

CEO, Everactive

With over 30 years experience working for start-up companies, taking them from an idea and turning them into businesses, Bob serves as CEO of IoT company, Everactive, applying technological solutions to real life problems. Everactive provides industries like gas, food, and paper production, an IoT platform built completely wireless and battery-free. Customers can use these sensors around the clock with very minimal maintenance.


Peggy Smedley

Creator, The Peggy Smedley Show

Best known for her #1 rated IoT and Digital Transformation podcast, Peggy is internationally respected for her knowledge of IoT and technological advancements. She formed the Specialty Publishing Group with the goal of educating industry leaders in technological advancements with potential to improve their companies. Peggy has collaborated on eight books, and recently completed her latest book “Sustainability in a Circular World”. She has over 25 years of experience in AI and IoT, and is now considered a “futurist”, or specialist in the field.


Arsen Avakian

Co-Founder and CEO, Cooler Screens

Arsen’s rich expertise in supply chain management IoT led to the creation of Cooler Screens, an IoT enabled retail screen. Cooler Screens works to transform the consumer experience by attracting customers to a product, enhancing retail sales, and improving brand equity. These digital screens are placed on the product doors, creating a modern feel for the consumer and giving them access to the most up to date product information and promotions. He is a member of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Honoree of the Pride of America Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Great Immigrants List, and Honoree of Crain’s 40 Under 40.

Jutta Friedrichs   

Co-Founder and VP of Operations, Soofa 

With a background in design from Harvard University, Jutta uses creativity combined with her product engineering expertise to run Soofa, the smart-city IoT company. Soofa is an electronic sign company, helping companies advertise or display real-time information and instantly track its metrics. As a female-founded company out of MIT and Harvard, Soofa is gaining publicity in Boston and other major cities. Jutta helps generate ideas for Soofa, while working to simplify complex issues. Jutta also serves as a mentor at the Harvard Innovation Lab, where she guides future entrepreneurs, and received two Red Dot awards for Design. 


Stacey Higginbotham

Freelance IoT Writer

Stacy on IoT Considered an expert in IoT, Stacey has been covering technology for major publications for the last 18 years. She began her career covering hardware and software, and became more interested in IoT as she progressed. Her work is seen in Fortune, Businessweek, the Bond Buyer, Gigaom, and more. Stacey now runs her own news publication covering IoT, as well as her weekly podcast “Internet of Things Podcast”.


Liz Centoni

Senior VP and General Manager of IoT, Cisco

Liz is a highly skilled technology leader and General Manager of the IoT sector at Cisco Systems, a networking hardware company, determining business strategy and solutions for her IoT team. As a key player in the engineering leadership team, she works on guiding Cisco’s routing, shaping, security, cloud offerings, and more. Liz is also Global Executive Sponsor for the Women in Science and Engineering employee resource organization, and a recipient of the Top 10 Women in Cloud Award.


Natan Linder

Co-Founder and CEO, Tulip

An accomplished leader in computer science and project design, Natan is Co-Founder of Tulip, a cloud IoT software platform provider for some of the largest manufacturers. Natan created Tulip to give factory workers a product that would provide them with the same access to information and help improve their companies through the ease of an app. Using his IoT expertise, Natan is changing the future of manufacturing. Robots and AI will be doing the jobs for humans, and tasks are becoming increasingly seamless. Natan won the World Economic Forumn’s Technology Pioneer Awards in 2016 and 2018. He also has 25 patents for various methods and models, and is a contributor to Forbes Magazine.


Chad Laurans

Co-Founder and CEO, Simplisafe

Chad is an IoT professional and the Co-Founder and CEO of Simplisafe, a wireless security and alarm system. He and his wife founded Simplisafe, making it their mission to make every home safe. With his new security system, he is able to give homeowners access to a simpler security system and remove the headaches that come with outdated systems, high costs, and poor customer service.Simplisafe has won the most awards in its industry, and currently protects over 3 million people. Chad is described as being deeply dedicated to his employees and customers.


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