No. 287: MDs on the fast track, IPS in the Smithsonian, new hope for the nipple and ESD doesn’t mean to brag, but…

Board meeting: Based on The Landlord's Game, created by Elizabeth Magie in 1903, Parker Brothers' classic Monopoly celebrates a birthday today.

Welcome to Wednesday: And over the hump we go, dear reader, as another week of innovation and socioeconomic progress plows forward.

And we do mean plows. When’s spring start, anyway?

Passing Go: March 7 is another big date for historical innovation. Charles Miller kept them in stitches when he patented the first U.S. sewing machine in 1854, Alexander Graham Bell let his fingers do the walking when he patented the telephone in 1876, and while there are many conflicting origin stories, one common version has Parker Brothers introducing the classic board game Monopoly on this date in 1933.

Good to be king: March 7 was also a big day for Henry VIII, who upon having his divorce request denied by the pope in 1530 declared himself the supreme head of England’s church. That’s a handy option, when available.

Bottoms up: Happy birthday Rob Roy (1671-1734), the Highland rogue and “Scottish Robin Hood” who gave the Duke of Montrose fits – and gave us the Scotch Manhattan cocktail that bears his name.

And many more Willard Scott (born 1934), the erstwhile weatherman who was also the inventor of Ronald McDonald, a character he played in several TV spots for McDonald’s starting in 1963.

Oscars schmoscars: The Academy Awards are fun and glitzy and all, but now that they’re out of the way, let’s focus on some of Long Island’s biggest stars.

Innovate Long Island will present our 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards from 8 to 10 a.m. April 24 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. This year, we’re very proud to honor Ruskin Moscou Faltischek Senior Partner Michael Faltischek, chairman of the Long Island Angel Network, as our 2018 Master of Innovation.

More information on our slate of award-winners is coming in Friday’s newsletter. Event registration begins March 9. We look forward to seeing you at our big shindig!

Your envelope, please: We know who we’re going to honor April 24, but who do you think deserves recognition as a top regional innovator? Let’s compare notes at, and feel free to leave a story tip or calendar listing, too.

Exhibit A: Before we dive into the week in innovation, quick congrats to our friends at Hauppauge’s Intelligent Product Solutions, whose work is now on display at the Smithsonian.

Specifically, New York City’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, one of 19 Smithsonian Institution museums and permanent home of Access+Ability, an exhibition of 70-plus products – from adaptive clothing to next-gen wheelchairs to mobile apps to the award-winning Smart Pill Bottle IPS designed for AdhereTech – for people with disabilities.



Shoppers without borders: First came The Edit @ Roosevelt Field, an experimental retail platform that was essentially a physical storefront for products otherwise available exclusively online, with a few popular real-world standards mixed in.

Now property owner Simon, in cahoots with California-based Direct Brands Group LLC and its HiO brand, is going global. That’s the plan with The International Edit, a phase-two expansion that will “aggregate forward-thinking brands from around the world,” according to a release issued Tuesday by Indiana-based Simon.

Opening Thursday and scheduled to run through the summer, The International Edit is slated to feature a global lineup of first-to-U.S.-market brands, with a heavy concentration on fashion accessories and beauty. Zachary Beloff, Simon’s national business-development director, said the mall owner is excited to partner with HiO on the new space, which will prove to be “an incredible resource in bringing … coveted international merchandise to our loyal Roosevelt Field customers.”

Spare the nipple: Northwell Health surgeons have performed the first robotic NSM mastectomy and breast-reconstruction surgery in North America.

The “nipple-sparing mastectomy” – which removes cancerous tumors while sparing as much of a woman’s breast tissue as possible, including saving the nipple and areola – was performed March 4 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, by surgeons using Da Vinci robotic technologies.

The procedure not only spares the majority of the patient’s breast, it limits incisions to the chest wall near the armpit, leaving no scarring in the breast area. “We’re seeing very real advantages to using Da Vinci technology for this type of surgery – a decreased length of stay in the hospital, less pain (and) easier recuperation,” noted Alan Kadison, one of two Northwell Health surgeons who performed the March 4 procedure. “And most important of all, we’re striving for increased patient satisfaction.”


About our sponsor: AVZ is a premier, full-service accounting firm with offices in Hauppauge and NYC and a philosophy that the client always comes first. From accounting and auditing to taxation and wealth management, the firm pledges to be an integral part of your team, to offer a close committed relationship, financial imagination and unparalleled excellence to assist you in attaining your goals. Learn more.



More than Moiety: The Hauppauge-based maker of the popular Moiety scheduling app goes the extra mile with SmartCoparent, an all-in-one e-helper for busy parents in separation/divorce scenarios.

What’s the big hurry? Well, there’s a national doctor shortage, for one thing, and young doctors are also tired of all that medical-school debt. So Stony Brook Medicine is speeding things up with a three-year MD program.

ESD, unabridged: The Empire State Development Corp., Albany’s biggest economic-development gun, left little to the imagination in its lengthy, first-ever annual report.

Capsule space: Long Island biotech Applied DNA Sciences has fortified its connections in India – and across the pharmaceuticals-manufacturing industry – with its latest international partnership.



Life is a skyway: With another $3.1 million burning a hole in his pocket, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced state funding for the Albany Skyway, an “elevated linear park” that will deliver pedestrians safely to the Hudson River waterfront.

Smart food: Aiming to predict the exact shelf life of its perishable produce, Walmart has filed two patents on AI technology that can digitize the food-inspection process.

The cookie crumbles: The end is nigh for the Internet cookie, according to our friends at Axios, who say marketers are moving away from the 20-year-old tracking tech as their audience goes increasingly mobile.

When worlds collide: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has joined forces with two leading German research organizations in a life-sciences collaboration with global ramifications.



+ TCGplayer, a Syracuse-based marketplace and software business serving buyers and sellers of collectible items, received a $10 million growth-equity investment from Radian Capital.

+ Quentis Therapeutics, a New York City-based biotechnology company pursuing next-generation immuno-oncology research and drug development, completed a $48 million Series A financing round co-led by founding investor Versant Ventures and by Polaris Partners and the affiliated LS Polaris Innovation Fund.

+ Woebot Labs, a San Francisco-based developer of a research-backed mental health chatbot, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from Andrew Ng’s newly launched AI Fund.

+ Blueprint Income, a NYC-based digital retirement plan, raised $2.75 million in seed funding led by Green Visor Capital and NextView Ventures, with participation from Core Innovation Capital, Kairos and angel investor Jean Chatzky, among others.

+ Tagnos, a California-based developer of a clinical logistics automation solution for hospitals and clinics, received $5 million in funding. Backers included Benhamou Global Ventures, Morpheus Ventures and Zebra Ventures.

+ Gelesis, a Boston-based biotechnology company developing mechano-therapeutics to treat chronic diseases related to the gastrointestinal pathway, closed a $30 million financing round.

+ Rubius Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company creating a new class of cellular therapies, completed a $100 million crossover-financing round.



You want the good news or the bad? There’s a little of both in the latest national poll by LIU’s Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis, which tests the strength of American democracy.

Wowzers: From quark soup to a key component of the largest astronomical digital camera ever built, some pretty amazing things have happened at Brookhaven National Laboratory over the past year.

First stop in Brooklyn: No. 4 on Food & Wine’s list of 14 Essential Craft Pilsners comes from Kings County’s very own Brooklyn Brewing.

Feeling loopy: Hyperloops are still on the drawing board, but regional rainmakers are serious about shuttling passengers the 340 miles between Chicago and Cleveland in just 30 minutes – within the next five years.

Gentle reminder: Please remember to support the awesome firms that support Innovate LI, like AVZ (yes, they’re the folks behind the annual Long Island Economic Survey & Opinion Poll).