No. 260: Northwell’s innovation winners, SUNY medical schools feeling the pinch and SAFE RIDE LI thanks to MADD and Uber

From the Team at Innovate Long Island - We wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Gobble gobble: And all that good stuff, dear readers. The Innovate LI team is looking forward to some quality family time over the holiday weekend, so no Black Friday newsletter. We’ll catch up with you Monday – but we’ll still be checking editor@innovateli.com for story tips, calendar items and leftover-stuffing recipes.

Blackout warning: “Black Friday” you know, but “Blackout Wednesday?”

That’s the term of choice in a joint statement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber, who are teaming up to offer free rides to Long Islanders tonight – the night before Thanksgiving, when spirits tend to flow and DWI incidents spike.

Through the MADD/Uber partnership, riders can enter the promo code “SAFERIDELI” into the Uber app to unlock two free rides that start and end anywhere on the Island, up to $15 per ride.

The freebies are available between 9 p.m. Nov. 22 and 3 a.m. Nov. 23. Tell your kids.

King-sized heart: Also in the spirit of Thanksgiving, a warm salute to Bethpage-based King Kullen, which recently gifted $100,000 to adoption/foster care agency Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York.

The regional supermarket kingpin raised the dough through its 35th annual James A. Cullen Memorial Golf Outing, which has collectively contributed “well over $3 million” to Little Flower over three-and-a-half decades, according to King Kullen Co-President Brian Cullen.

Steady hands: Long Island’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in October, unchanged from a year ago, according to the NYS Department of Labor. Nassau’s rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 4 percent even, while Suffolk’s rate held steady at 4.2 percent. Both remained below the state’s monthly rate (4.6 percent in October) and slightly above the national rate (3.9 percent).

ON THE SITE

Innovation coronation: A bioelectronic device designed to prevent premature births and a “smart” lab container that knows when biological samples are inside were the big winners in Northwell Health’s 2017 Innovation Challenge.

Tough choices: With federal funds tightening up, SUNY medical schools – including Stony Brook Medicine – may have to reduce services and research programs, according to a top SUNY officer.

Bleeding hearts: It’s no fun thinking about a potential mass shooting or terrorist attack – but Mineola’s NYU Winthrop Hospital still wants civilians to be prepared.

Making their mark, again: The Defense Logistics Agency has re-upped a biomarker-security contract with Stony Brook’s Applied DNA Sciences.

Thru and through: The New York State Thruway Authority has released a unique mobile app that updates drivers on every inch of the state’s 570-mile superhighway system.

ICYMI

The Long Island STEM Hub has hit its stride. So has Medford biotech Chembio.

A few words from our sponsor: PSEG Long Island is more than your energy company – we’re your business partner. Our economic development, rate incentive and energy efficiency programs help to retain, expand and attract local companies and jobs. And we’re re-energizing Main Streets with our Vacant Space Revival Program and Main Street Revitalization Program. Let us help your business work. Visit PSEG Long Island Economic Development.

WHAT WE’RE READING

Leaving Las Vegas: Good news for Mets fans (and regional restaurants and retailers that benefit from better Mets baseball): The team’s acquisition of the minor league Syracuse Chiefs has been approved by the Community Baseball Club of Central New York. With Onondaga County, the International League and Minor League Baseball Inc. already on board, only Major League Baseball has yet to sign off.

When the deal is done, the Mets will have a AAA franchise right here in New York – significantly closer than the Las Vegas 51s, the Nevada-based AAA team that’s handcuffed the Queens squad for years by requiring a cross-continental journey to transition players between levels.

Well spent? Online financial news and opinion company 24/7 Wall St. has calculated the “11 American School Districts Spending the Most on Students” – and the list is heavy with Long Island schools.

According to the Delaware-based news service, five of the 11 districts are in New York and four of those are on the Island, with the Montauk ($38,507 spent per pupil), Tuckahoe Common ($37,479), Island Park ($36,065) and Jericho ($35,977) districts all blowing past the NYS average ($21,206, according to 24/7Wall St.) and the national average ($11,900, as of 2014 U.S. Census data).

The report cited Long Island’s high property values and taxes as a main factor. Well, duh.

CHESS masters: The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source is making $15 million in capital improvements that will result in a premier synchrotron-source facility for high-energy, high-flux X-ray studies.

RECENT FUNDING

+ Edmit – a Boston-based college price comparison and bidding platform, raised $855 thousand in pre-seed funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners’ 15 Angels Fund and Rethink Education Seed Fund among others.

+ Candid Co. – a NYC-based dental startup for consumers, closed a $15 million Series A financing round led by Greycroft, Bessemer Venture Partners and e.ventures.

+ Axios – a NYC- and Washington-based media startup, raised $20 million in its second funding round led by e.ventures, Greycroft Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, WndrCo, NBCUniversal, Emerson Collective and Greg Penner.

BELOW THE FOLD

Hottest cube since Rubik’s: BOU, the healthy bouillon company, has plans to transform your relationship with soup. Their proprietary recipe uses less sodium and more flavors packaged into a condensed soup cube, perfect for on-the-go soup consumption.

Rock on: In October, astronomers announced the first sighting of an object from interstellar space in our solar system. Now, after getting a good look at it, astronomers are proclaiming it a true “oddball.”

Frame job: As flash-bang holiday advertising blitzes our senses, Adweek acknowledges some actual advertising wit: Ikea, riffing on a $450 million da Vinci painting.

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great companies like PSEG Long Island and the important economic development programs they offer.