TECHNOLOGY

These 20 Influencers will Lead the Internet of Things

These 20 executives, entrepreneurs, investors, CTOs, and influencers are driving the Internet of Things industry forward.

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BY Anna Johansson - 12 Sep 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The Internet of Things (IoT) industry has quickly transformed from a futuristic idea to the next massive evolution of the internet. It's disrupting a variety of industries; savvy entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations are diving head first into this space, racing to carve out a piece of a pie that McKinsey Global Institute predicts could deliver up to $6.2 trillion USD in economic impact by 2025.

Here is a list of executives, entrepreneurs, investors, CTOs, and influencers that are driving the Internet of Things industry forward. These are not consultants or commentators. Each person on this list is directly and positively impacting the industry in a significant way. These are the individuals you should watch while carving out your position in this rapidly growing industry.

1.Charlie Kindel: GM, Alexa Smart Home, Amazon

The Amazon Echo and Alexa voice assistant were the first massive consumer hits in the Smart Home. By focusing on voice as the user interface, Kindel and Amazon have redefined how consumers engage their everyday lives. Kindel and Amazon's forward thinking and fast growth have put their competitors in catch-up mode. Amazon's Alexa is the hottest innovation in IoT and Charlie Kindel is leading the charge.

2. Stacey Higginbotham: Journalist; Founder, Internet of Things Podcast

Ask anyone in the Internet of Things to name the top journalist in the space and you'll almost certainly hear "Stacey Higginbotham." A former writer for GigaOm and Fortune, Stacey hosts The Internet of Things Podcast, manages a weekly IoT newsletter and writes for The Wirecutter and PC Mag. She is the best resource for going from beginner to expert in IoT.

3. Andrew Thomas: Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer, SkyBell

Despite only being in the industry for a few years, Andrew Thomas has quickly built a reputation as one of the top dealmakers and marketers in IoT. He led SkyBell's $600,000 Indiegogo campaign in 2013, and has helped scale SkyBell by landing significant deals with big companies in the space. Andrew is an active IoT speaker, social influencer, and advisor. He also has an Inc.com column where he contributes relevant content on IoT and startups.

4. Jenny Fielding: Managing Director, Techstars

Jenny Fielding might own the title as the most active investor in IoT. As managing director at Techstars, Jenny leads both the FinTech and Internet of Things accelerators. She's made dozens of investments in the space and has a keen understanding of the startup landscape across all segments of IoT. Jenny is frequently speaking about IoT and funding at top conferences around the world. She also writes a must-follow blog and newsletter for Techstars.

5. Greg Kahn: President & CEO, Internet of Things Consortium

Greg Kahn is one of the most connected and engaged members of the IoT community. In his role as president and CEO of the Internet of Things Consortium, Greg uses his influence and remarkable network to build a premier IoT group focused on driving the industry forward. He is also a keynote speaker on IoT and an advisor to startups in the space. Greg curates and shares relevant and insightful content via his Twitter account and through the IoTC's email newsletter.

6. Daniel Herscovici: GM & SVP, Xfinity Home, Comcast

Daniel Herscovici is the general manager and senior vice president of Xfinity Home, Comcast's highly successful Smart Home platform that provides subscribers with an easy to use, robust user experience. Daniel is one to watch as Comcast expands the Works With Xfinity solution and joins Alexa and Google Home as the leaders in consumer IoT.

7. Nate Williams: Entrepreneur in Residence, Kleiner Perkins

Nate Williams is a fixture in the IoT community and one of the most connected in the space. He was a co-founder of 4home, which was acquired by Motorola in 2010, and is Chief Revenue Officer at August Home. Nate is an active speaker, investor, and advisor in IoT - including investments in Roost, Matterport and Datascience. He is also an advisor to Techstars and The Internet of Things Consortium.

8. Kristine Faulkner: GM & SVP, COX Homelife

Cox Communications is in a strong position to deliver curated Smart Security and Home Automation packages to their cable and internet subscribers. Kristine Faulkner is responsible for leading Cox's Smart Home efforts and will surely continue the growth of that business unit. She is a leader to follow as curated solutions begin to drive mass-consumer adoption. You'll find Kristine sharing her experience and perspective as a speaker at many top IoT and tech conferences.

9. Sridhar Solur: SVP, Product & Development for Xfinity Home, Comcast

As one of the top technologists in the industry, Sridhar Solur is driving innovation and product strategy for the Xfinity Home business for Comcast. Prior to Comcast, Solur founded and directed Hewlett Packard's wearables and IoT business. He is a captivating speaker and resource for understanding the future of IoT. Sridhar is also an advisor for the Internet of Things Consortium.

10. Elizabeth Mathes: Director of Smart Home, The Home Depot

Elizabeth Mathes is responsible for all things Smart Home at Home Depot - including some of the most sought-after shelves in retail. She's helped curate one of the leading consumer offerings for smart home products and is helping raise awareness in the consumer markets. Elizabeth is also a great speaker on IoT.

11. Michael Wolf: Founder and Chief Analyst, NextMarket Insights

Michael Wolf is a journalist, advisor, and analyst in the Internet of Things. He is the founder and chief analyst of NextMarket Insights, and host of the Smart Home Show - a top podcast in IoT. Michael is also becoming known as the top influencer in the Smart Kitchen category of the Smart Home, and is the founder of the Smart Kitchen Summit.

12. Scott Harkins: Vice President, IoT Partner Programs, Honeywell Connected Home

Scott Harkins is Vice President of Partner Development within Honeywell's Connected Home & Building organizations. He enjoyed great success as a leader for Honeywell's home security channel and is continuing that success by driving Honeywell's Smart Home ambitions. Scott is one of the most connected and experienced professionals in IoT, and a top speaker.

13. Rob Martens: Futurist and VP of Strategy & Partnerships, Schlage

Rob Martens is helping shape how the industry and consumers view smart technology and how they can positively impact our lives. He is currently Schlage's Futurist and Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships. Rob creates interesting and relevant content on IoT and shares his vision on stages at the top conferences in IoT and home security.

14. Sarah Cooper: GM IoT Solutions, Amazon Web Services

Sarah Cooper is contributing to Amazon's remarkable growth and success in IoT as GM of IoT solutions at Amazon Web Services. She is also the Vice-chair of the Internet of Things Community. Sarah has extensive experience as a product innovator, inventing an IoT medical battery that runs on body temperature.

15. Marwan Fawaz: CEO, Nest Labs

Marwan Fawaz is the CEO of Nest Labs, after taking over for Tony Fadell. While it has lost ground to Amazon and Google Home, Nest is unquestionably still a significant player in the Smart Home realm. Marwan is the person responsible for returning Nest Labs to its previous reputation as a top inventor and innovator of smart products and services.

16. Beth Comstock: Vice Chair, GE

Beth Comstock has made a name for herself as one of the most creative people in tech. She is responsible for GE's efforts to accelerate new growth, and she'll play a major role in the company's efforts to use IoT across their large organization. Beth is also a must-follow on Twitter.

17. Mark Spates: Product Development, Google

Mark Spates is contributing to the success of Google's smart home ambitions as a product developer and futurist. He recently made a big presentation at the 2017 Google I/O conference. He is the founder of Iotlist.co and formerly the Head of Connected Home Platform at Logitech.

18. Jim Hunter: Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist, Greenwave Systems

Jim Hunter is one of the top futurists and evangelists in the Internet of Things - sharing his visions of the future as an international speaker and in his role at Greenwave Systems. Jim is the Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems, where he has oversight of technology, architecture, and innovation of the Axon platform. He was a founder of 4Home, which was sold to Motorola in 2010.

19. Brenna Berman: Chief Information Officer, City of Chicago

The Smart City is quickly becoming a popular segment of the Internet of Things. As acting Chief Information Officer of Chicago, Brenna Berman has set the bar for what Smart City innovation is. She has helped develop the "Array of Things" project and is also elevating Chicago's data program into a national leader.

20. Matt Eyring: Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Vivint

Matt Eyring is a forward thinking executive to follow in IoT. He has impressively helped Vivint shift into a leader in smart home security in the dealer channel. He is known for challenging the status quo - even testing a new distribution model by partnering with Best Buy.