Startups

With the Long Island Gems, networking lightens up

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Long and Winding Road File come the Long Island Gems, a story of power women, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a born-again marketing veteran and a Long Island networking group like no other. It’s been a rough stretch for Valentina Janek, following a decade-plus of steady professional and extracurricular progress. Janek logged 13 successful years at Manhasset-based CMP Media (now CMP Technology, a piece of London-based UBM Ltd.), where she focused on…

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With ‘pop up,’ The Spur serves a tantalizing appetizer

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Spur is now open for business, and pleasure. At least, what founder Ashley Heather calls a “pop up” version of the Hamptons’ first-ever shared-office space, which will officially open the doors of its new 10,000-square-foot “private co-working and entrepreneur’s club” this summer but for now is gathering strength inside the friendly confines of the Southampton Social Cub. The Spur – the physical embodiment of i-hamptons, a Southampton-based “community and resource…


Getting the Drop on new co-working spaces

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island’s intriguing co-working marketplace is growing again, in more ways than one. Bridgeworks founder Graham Beck is already an entrepreneurial innovator in the regional co-working game: He’s the founder of the Long Beach shared-office campus, a 2016 startup for early-stage business owners (and established professionals) looking to mix surf and sand with their sporadic workspace requirements. Now, Beck – who’s already doubled Bridgeworks’ size and is deep into planning a…


The case of the $2M (and counting) stay-home dad

By GREGORY ZELLER // Philip Smith follows plenty of leads. It makes sense the Port Jefferson native and lifelong Suffolk County resident would land in the lead-generation business. Smith is a true entrepreneurial detective, more apt to study a problem than to charge ahead, always picking up clues to unravel the bigger mystery. It’s evident throughout his tactical business career. After earning an online degree from the University of Phoenix, the then-23-year-old started his first…


In $2 million startup, 11,000 wines and one full circle

By GREGORY ZELLER // As the latest cog in a multistate corporate wheel likely to spin past $3 billion in revenue next year, Total Wine Spirits & More is not your typical startup, for Westbury or anywhere else. And it’s not particularly innovative – though actually it is, contorting Maryland-based Total Wine & More’s proven formula (170-something stores and counting) to squeeze through New York State’s regulatory hoops (more below). But if the megalithic retailer…


A co-working facility for mom and pop, literally

By GREGORY ZELLER // From Albany’s corridors of power to the local co-working facility’s unassuming cubicle, there’s plenty of support for the little guy. Entrepreneurs can leverage the overhead-cutting benefits of a shared-office environment, the tax-cutting delights of a Startup NY-type incentives program and a dozen other concerted efforts designed specifically to boost their startups. But these socioeconomic engines largely stall when it comes to one fairly common truth about risk-taking business-starters: They’re often thirtysomething…


After curing what ailed it, ‘TopDoc’ startup soars

By GREGORY ZELLER // And you thought medical school took forever. It’s been 10 long years since husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Anthony Casimano and Siobhan O’Grady launched their online appointment-setting service for local doctors and dentists. But it was just three years ago that the floundering startup found its path, thanks to some skilled digital programmers and an evolved business plan. Built around a proprietary, comprehensive and free public database featuring 1 million-plus board-certified providers, FindaTopDoc.com is…