CEWIT residents soft pitch the Angels

David Hershberg, STS GlobalSatellite czar David Hershberg briefed the Angel Network board on his new firm, STS Global.

The board of the Long Island Angel Network heard presentations from four aspiring companies on Friday and, for a change, not one of them was asking for money.

Soliciting investments was not the main goal of this particular meeting, held at Stony Brook University’s Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology. The idea, noted Michael Faltischek, the LIAN chairman, was “more a means of educating the board about what CEWIT has to offer, to help board members see the kinds of opportunities that are out there and to attract new members to the Angel Network.”

To do that, four wireless center residents offered up brief presentations designed to bring board members up to speed on what their companies do and how CEWIT has helped them do it.

Presenting to the LIAN board were satellite and communications company STS Global, the latest venture of Globecomm Systems founder David Hershberg; healthcare software manufacturer Softeon; Killer Content, a California-based production company looking to develop a new digital content-distribution platform; and Applied DNA Sciences, James Hayward’s forensics-focused biotech enterprise.

Although each represents “a real commercialization opportunity,” according to Faltischek, none of these firms was the sort of wide-eyed startup hunting for seed money that normally pitches the angels.

Satya Sharma, CEWIT’s executive director, said he thought it was a great idea for his center to host an angel board meeting, and for that meeting to feature companies lurking beyond the startup stage.

“Some people may know a little bit about what’s happening at our center, but most people may not know,” Sharma noted.

So the center was thrilled to have Hershberg in attendance to explain why he decided to locate STS Global at Stony Brook, and have Killer Content representatives explain why they’re excited to work with SBU students and faculty.

“They actually have a good operation in California,” the executive director noted of Killer Content. “But when you want to deliver your content, in this case film and movie content, to mass media, especially in the social media area, you want to work with the newest technologies being developed. That’s what our center does.”

Another local success story: Softeon, one of the private firms that helped Obamacare right its ship after the federal program bungled its 2013 rollout.

“They now handle about 10 percent of Obamacare enrollees,” Sharma noted. “They’re growing very rapidly.”

The cross-section of presenters – attendees also heard from Ari Kaufman, chief CEWIT scientist, and CA Technologies founder Russell Arztz – made Friday’s meeting a real plus not only for CEWIT and the LIAN, according to Sharma, but for the regional innovation economy as a whole.

“The whole idea was to share with the angel investors everything that’s happening at the center, and explain to other startup companies that may be looking for resources why they should be looking at us as one of those resources,” he said.

– GREGORY ZELLER