Startups

For this niche chef, the bright ideas keep coming

By GREGORY ZELLER // The lightbulb moment was clear. But the lightbulb? That was more happenstance. Entrepreneurial chef Alaila-Lee Lawrence can trace the branches of her Clovesz beverage line straight through her family tree: her grandfather, the Orlando restaurateur; her cousin, the Canadian caterer; her grandmother, the matriarch who migrated from Jamaica to England to the United States to find a better life for her family. The heart of her drinks – sorrel, a perennial…

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Info overload? Get aggregated, not aggravated

By GREGORY ZELLER // In a world where “fake news” proliferates and those daily intelligence briefings really do drag on, there comes an artificially intelligent response. Entrepreneur Blake Cornell, a self-described “nerd’s nerd” who routinely follows bright ideas with several thousand lines of code, doesn’t necessarily intend Long Island Tech News to be the antidote to agenda-driven phonies masquerading as journalists. But by carefully selecting his news aggregator’s sources – and giving users unprecedented control…


Spotlighting ‘dark data,’ and other IT inefficiencies

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Stony Brook tech firm with a hard-science history is tracking data’s “unknown unknowns,” helping enterprise administrators control complex and rapidly changing IT environments. ModelizeIT, a 2012 startup launched by Russian import Nikolai Joukov, is a cyber detective of sorts, fine-toothed-combing servers both frontline and forgotten to discover “dark data” and other costly and potentially dangerous information-storage inefficiencies. Unlike structured data (database content, for instance), dark data – generally defined as operational…


For autistic gamers, the old school rules

By GREGORY ZELLER // In a world ruled by Nathan Drake and Master Chief, a passionate video gamer has taken the entrepreneurial plunge with the Mario brothers and an old-school hedgehog. As digital art and functionality have leapt forward, so have videogames, with cinema-quality graphics, deep storylines and a multitude of complex controls. But some longtime players would suggest the gaming industry has lost its way: The characters of the popular “Uncharted” and “Halo” series…


For nutrition’s sake, Benji comes home

By GREGORY ZELLER // A “side gig” for a nutrition-minded professional couple – he’s a botanist, she’s a health teacher – could be the best thing to happen to your best friend’s tummy in a long while, and maybe his breath. In love with their springer-spaniel Benji but not thrilled with the nutritional choices provided by retail-grade pet foods or specialty brands, health and physical education teacher Allison Graziose (master’s of education, Stony Brook University) and her…


Live, from LI: It’s short-attention-span theater!

By GREGORY ZELLER // John Richardson knows startups. He launched two in his early teens, and therein learned a primary entrepreneurial lesson: business-development growing pains strike nearly all early-stagers, in virtually every industry. So even Richardson, who was “literally incorporated at age 14” and did surprisingly well with those Doogie Howser-esque enterprises, is surprised by the rapid development of Quick-Cast, his latest endeavor. Focused on society’s evolving (or de-evolving) fascination with short video segments, the…


Time-tripping to ice cream’s past, and a hot future

By GREGORY ZELLER // I scream, you scream … but only Richard Blech screens for ice cream. It’s taken Blech years of diligent Internet searches to assemble the yesteryear fleet of The Vintage Ice Cream Guys, a Jericho-based startup that delivers classic products – original Good Humor bars, old-school candies like Dots and Bit-O-Honey – using actual trucks from bygone eras. These are not replicas. Each of the three trucks in the fleet is a…