Startups

Reality bites, MunchMoney pivots, tummies applaud

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Office of Sticktoitiveness comes Chris Kane and MunchMoney Inc., makers of a rewards-based group-purchasing app that whittled down an overdose of functionality to focus on one bright vertical – and has ridden that strategy to an impressive national launch. When last we left Kane, the James Madison University graduate and hungry entrepreneur was preparing for a pilot launch of MunchMoney, flagship app of the 2017 startup created by the…

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In the iced tea business, some like it hot

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the When You’re Hot, You’re Hot file comes the PeKANT Tea Co., a sort of Nestea plunge for the hot-pepper set. Cofounders Michael Circosta and Michael Romano, both longtime regional sales reps for Massachusetts-based medical-device titan Boston Scientific, are now about three years into their spicy entrepreneurial adventure, which crosses its teas with molten-hot habaneros – adding a tongue-numbing, surprisingly refreshing kick to the traditional sweet tea. It sounds counterintuitive…


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…


In the power-conversion business, it’s who you know

By GREGORY ZELLER // A six-year-old power play and its three-year-old sister startup are providing something truly unique on Long Island – a two-headed engineering enterprise with the ability to empower the powerless. That could have many interpretations, but it takes a fairly literal spin at Unique Technical Services, a 2012 launch and member of Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, and Smithtown-based Unique Electric Solutions, that slightly younger sibling. With a…


With Patient Innovations, the wait may be over

By GREGORY ZELLER // Patient Innovations does not have modest goals. Citing a sad legacy of waiting-room delays and other gross inefficiencies costing healthcare providers both time and money, the 2013 startup is out to change the healthcare world. And if it generates a billion-dollar payday along the way, so much the better, says cofounder Ken Greenberg. Pardon Greenberg’s optimism, which may be influenced by his success as cofounder and CEO of award-winning, circa-1992, Hauppauge-based…


Filling a modest plate, sweetly, at startup Foodcubate

By AMY ONORATO // The food industry is Anna Kotler’s bread and butter. The 20-year marketing veteran built her career working on brand development for food-focused Fortune 500 companies like Campbell’s Soup Co. and Conagra Brands Inc. – but when it came to defining her own recipe for success, Kotler wasn’t satisfied with the corporate climate’s structured lifestyle. “After working for those big packaged-food companies, I wanted a little more flexibility in my schedule,” Kotler…


Rethinking the science of business (and clean energy)

By AMY ONORATO // Becoming an entrepreneur introduced Slawa Solovyov to a new way of thinking about science – a mindset incorporating business and marketing factors that went beyond straight research and development. For Solovyov, who had spent the previous 20 years pursuing superconductor research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, it was a challenge. And it would answer the question: What happens when a scientist wants to become an entrepreneur? Solovyov – also chief scientist at…