Startups

urSwim is beginning to make waves

By GREGORY ZELLER // An Aquarius with a waterborne name, born to two Pisces, Marina Montes has been treading aquatic allusions all her life. She finally decided to just go with the flow. After finishing law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and passing the North Carolina and New York bar exams, Montes – the 2011 Miss Long Island pageant winner – skipped a law career to start her own business. She’d made some…


BDS Capital raising up to $40M for new tech fund

By GREGORY ZELLER //  BDS Capital Management is doubling down on technology with a second venture fund that will invest between $25 million and $40 million, largely in Long Island startups. The fund, BDS Venture Fund II, follows a $6.5 million pool that backed Huntington-based eGifter and former Hicksville startup ProSeeder Technologies, as well as tech startups in New York City, Boston, Detroit and the left coast. “I would like to invest more on Long…


Attention Woody Johnson

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly inked a two-year deal with StriVR Labs, a virtual reality sports startup, to train its quarterbacks using VR headsets, according to news reports. After donning the headset, players see a live-action 3-D video replay of a football play from the quarterback’s perspective, and can review that play from a first-person view over and over, looking in any direction. Currently, StriVR’s technology is not interactive, but instead aims to teach quarterbacks decision-making skills…


LaunchPad Huntington's Phil Rugile

Rocketing interest in LaunchPad Huntington

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re packing them in at LaunchPad Huntington, with a host of new tenants hanging their shingles inside the year-old co-working space – including three new residents liberated from Brooklyn. In a reversal of Long Island’s cursed westward migration, a trio of unrelated professionals – including a Microsoft field operative and the Workforce Development Institute’s regional director – has headed east from Kings County to live and work on the Island, with…


And the nation’s startup capital is … Austin

The Texas capital has unseated Silicon Valley as the nation’s top spot for startups, according to the latest Kauffman Index report. The index, produced annually by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, measures entrepreneurship at the national, state and metro levels across three metrics: the rate of new entrepreneurs, the number of entrepreneurs who started their companies when unemployed, and the number of startups per capita. According to the data, roughly 555 out of every 100,000 adults…


No Picture

Invention, with a side order of altruism

By GREGORY ZELLER While cutting-edge laboratories, university-based startups and seven-figure investments monopolize Long Island’s innovation spotlight, invention can happen anywhere. Just ask students in the Science Research Program at Commack High School, where teacher Richard Kurtz, with a little help from Suffolk County Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club founder Brian Fried, is teaching kids they’re never too young to change the world. The para-curricular program – enterprising students can select it in lieu of other science…


On Kickstarter, beers and boards win big

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Kickstarter crowdfunding platform is a worthy metaphor for humanity itself. Invented by necessity and forever evolving, it’s a vast engine of ingenuity fueled by the most basic human motivators: a desire to improve, or to profit, or both. It’s also barrels of fun. Where else can you find “crystal bacon” jewelry, keychain sensors that alert parents when Baby’s diaper is wet and frying pans with sword hilts? More to the…


New refrigerant rules = hot times for Priority Cool

By GREGORY ZELLER // With new refrigeration standards sweeping the globe, a Bay Shore company with proprietary rights to an advanced coolant formula is poised to cash in on a potential $10 trillion industry. Pretty cool, right? Green Way Solutions, dba Priority Cool, has only been manufacturing its patent-pending hydrocarbon blend since January, but it’s already estimating $3 million in 2015 sales – and that’s without tapping the enormous U.S. market. According to company officials,…


The Brew Bus: Ready to barrel on down the highway

By GREGORY ZELLER // Brad Darrohn likes beer. Specifically, the partner at Bohemia-based online marketing firm Fishbat enjoys craft beers, those brewed in small batches by local beer lovers like himself. Long Island has a thriving microbrew culture, but its geographical sprawl presents a problem for those who would enjoy their suds responsibly. But also an opportunity. Lamenting that a single-day tour of the Island’s widespread breweries using conventional transportation was virtually impossible, Darrohn determined…


Taking North Shore-LIJ to market

By GREGORY ZELLER // With two spinoffs in play and as many as 10 waiting in the wings, the North Shore-LIJ Health System is ramping up its commercialization efforts at STAT speed. In particular, a series of ambitious collaborations between North Shore and the Cleveland Clinic – a nonprofit, multispecialty medical center melding hospital care with research and education – are beginning to bear commercial fruit. Speaking at a Long Island Association event on Thursday,…


Legal help for millennials? Mobile, of course

By GREGORY ZELLER // Need an attorney? Mobile platform LawNearMe.com has one for you. Millennials preferred. Ease of attorney is not exactly a Miranda right, but it could be a lucrative business opportunity. That’s what entrepreneurial attorney Samuel Shusterhoff is counting on as he efforts to unite attorneys and “next generation” clients with immediate legal needs. By “next generation,” Shusterhoff – a Jericho native who launched LawNearMe.com out of a Massapequa office in 2014 (the…


Teq beefs up distribution partnerships

The good times roll on at educational software firm Teq, which this week announced two new reseller partnerships. In April, the Huntington-based producer of innovative classroom technology and online professional development solutions entered into an international distribution deal with Canadian firm SMART Technologies, allowing Teq to forge distribution agreements with SMART’s reseller partners throughout the United States and Canada. This week, the firm announced partnerships with two of those resellers: Piraino Consulting, which will make…


SetPoint Medical

Feinstein’s vagus research takes plenty of nerve

BY GREGORY ZELLER // What happens in vagus doesn’t actually stay there. Or at least that’s the theory behind electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, a long cranial bundle that extends from the brain to the abdomen. Medical science is just scratching the surface of the therapeutic value of vagus stimulation, but new studies suggest it goes far beyond the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy and depression, two longstanding targets of vagus manipulation. Dr….


Steve Gold

And yes, you can have fries with this

BY GREGORY ZELLER // Cluck ’n Moo, an innovative substitute for the classic beef patty that introduces lean poultry to the mix, is ready to take wing. Inventor Steve Gold says the resulting beef-and-chicken hybrid lowers the fat and calorie content without skimping on taste or texture, and with Cluck ’n Moo already gracing supermarkets across New York, he’s on the hunt for $750,000 in venture capital to spread the word. Some members of the…


Leah Busque

State launches women-focused investment fund

New York State is unwrapping a $2 million investment fund to support minority- and women-owned business enterprises. The MWBE Investment Fund, managed by Rochester-based venture capital firm Excell Partners, will provide early-stage financing to certified minority- and women-owned startups, with a particular focus on high-tech ventures, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The “first-of-its-kind investment fund” will be a big help to a “vitally important part of the state’s economy,” the governor…