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Spring break: It’s April 4 out there and Easter is over and it hasn’t snowed since Monday, which are strange things to say on April 4, but here we are.
Good company: It’s also a swell day, historically speaking, for tech startups – Microsoft (1975), Netscape Communications (as Mosaic Communications, 1994) and Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba (1999) were all founded on April 4.
Coincidentally, it was actually one year ago today – the company’s 18th birthday – when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission anointed Alibaba the “world’s largest retailer.”
California dreaming: Also tracing their origin stories to April 4 are the City of Los Angeles (incorporated in 1850) and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (formed by city ordinance in 1870).
Twin peaks: As do the World Trade Center’s mighty Twin Towers, which opened on this date in 1973 – then the world’s tallest building – and of course stood until Sept. 11, 2001.
Speaking of the fall of towering icons: April 4 is also the anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Lither King Jr., gunned down 50 years ago today in Tennessee.
Requesting asylum: Dorothea Dix (1802-1885), the American activist who lobbied on behalf of the mentally ill and is credited with creating the first generation of U.S. mental asylums, marks a birthday today.
So do German engineer Carl Wilhelm Siemens (1823-1883), namesake of industrial-manufacturing conglomerate Siemens; U.S. ballroom dancer and businessman Arthur Murray (1895-1991); legendary blues guitarist Muddy Waters (1913-1983); Hollywood movie-score composer Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004); and revered U.S. poet Maya Angelou (1928-2014).
He is Iron Man: And many more to Tony Stark himself, actor Robert Downey Jr., who turns 53 today.
Days of wine and music: Before we plunge into to the week in socioeconomic innovation, a quick note from our friends at the Nassau County Museum of Art, where they are knee-deep in plans for the 2018 Gold Coast Summers Music and Wine Festival.
The annual summer tradition, scheduled for June 16 and 17 on the former Frick “Clayton” Estate in Roslyn Harbor, this year revolves around the museum exhibit “The Jazz Age: Picasso, Matisse, Chanel, Gershwin, Joyce, Fitzgerald and Hemingway.”
Registration and more information on the two-day summer fête – packed with wine and champagne tastings, artisan cocktails, gourmet food and a premier jazz ensemble – awaits here.
Also tasty: Further east, the Long Island Food Council has scheduled “Lessons Learned: Local Food Biz Success Stories,” the council’s first-ever East End event, for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 at Riverhead’s Hotel Indigo. Featuring delectable samples and panel discussions, the event is designed to celebrate the progress of regional food-business industries. Learn more here.
About our sponsor: Hofstra University is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us.
BUT FIRST, THIS
Survey says: Introducing the Marcum CEO Survey, the latest addition to Marcum LLP’s portfolio of original content designed to educate and engage business leaders.
An intriguing barometer of CEO confidence in real-time business conditions, the Marcum CEO Survey – a 12-page report executed during the first quarter of calendar 2018 – boasts relevance “for the middle-market and beyond,” according to a statement from the accounting giant. Among its surprising findings: Despite potential trade wars and other economic turmoil stemming from Washington, 99 percent of the chief executives surveyed are “strongly optimistic” about business conditions, with nearly 10 percent applying the highest-possible rating to their overall business outlook.
Those intriguing facts and more await readers in the first publication by Marcum LLP since new Food and Beverage Group practice leader Lou Biscotti joined the team in March. Biscotti, a leader in the regional food industry, headed up the annual Food & Beverage Industry Study for his former firm, Mazars USA, for years.
Jet stream: Illinois-based Videojet Technologies and Stony Brook biotech Applied DNA Sciences are joining forces for a new-tech display at Interphex NY 2018, the pharma, biotech and medical-device industries’ premier development and manufacturing event, slated for later this month in New York City.
The companies will be spotlighting supply-chain traceability protocols featuring packaging ink with a built-in molecular tag – essentially, combining Applied DNA’s SigNature “molecular ink” with Videojet Technologies’ proprietary products.
Together, the companies can provide “the ultimate level of brand protection and validation of product integrity,” Applied DNA said this week. Interphex NY is scheduled to run April 17 to 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
TOP OF THE SITE
The San Diego way: Mark Cafferty, CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., sees more than a few parallels between Long Island and San Diego, which have faced similar socioeconomic challenges.
One-Canon salute: Melville manufacturer Canon USA is one of only 15 New York-based companies – and the only one on Long Island – recognized by the EPA as a 2018 Energy Star Partner.
Something Ventured: Learn more about the 10 finalists competing for $70,000 in prizes in the 2018 Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge, one of Long Island’s top college-level business-plan competitions.
Well, good for Texas: In what will be its last quarter as a Long Island-based company, former Melville mainstay FalconStor Software – currently transitioning to its new HQ in the Lone Star State – racked up a solid 4Q and a positive FY2017.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Schein on: Melville-based global distributor Henry Schein is spinning off its software unit into a Utah-based joint venture with Internet Brands, whose well-known offerings include WebMD, Fodor’s Travel and CarsDirect.
Put that cryptocurrency to work: Among the innovative features in Illinois-based digital developer DNotes Global’s newest cryptocurrency is an interest-bearing savings plan.
Behold, the Chicken Tax: From the president who believes “trade wars are good” comes a twist-filled tale of poultry, trucks, trade, tariffs and the distorting consequences of protectionism.
The other way around: From Forbes, five ways marketing officers can impact innovation.
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+ Red Balloon Security, a New York City-based developer of an embedded-device security solution, secured $21.9 million in Series A funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Greycroft, American Family Ventures and Abstract Ventures.
+ FoodLogiQ, a North Carolina-based provider of traceability, food-safety and supply-chain transparency solutions, raised $19.5 million in growth financing through Testo, Pontifax AgTech, Nicola Wealth Management, Greenhouse Capital and Tyson Ventures, the corporate venture subsidiary of Tyson Foods.
+ Oscar Health, a NYC-based provider of health insurance plans, raised $165 million in funding led by Founders Fund with participation from 8VC, Verily Life Sciences, Fidelity, General Catalyst, Capital G, Khosla Ventures and Thrive Capital.
+ DriveWealth Holdings, a New Jersey-based fintech company, closed a $21million Series B funding round led by Raptor Group Holdings, SBI Holdings, Point72 Ventures and existing investor Route 66 Ventures.
+ Cobalt Robotics, a California-based developer of indoor security robots, raised $13 million in Series A financing led by Sequoia with participation from Founders Fund, Storm Ventures, Promus Ventures and Bloomberg Beta.
+ Nift, a Boston-based provider of an AI-powered platform uniting main street merchants, raised $16.5 million in Series A funding. Backers included Spark Capital, Foundry Group and Accomplice.
+ Accolade, a Seattle-based provider of personalized health and benefits solutions, raised $50 million in funding led by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Carrick Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group and McKesson Ventures.
+ Electric, a NYC-based platform providing an automated, intelligent IT support channel for small and midsized businesses, raised $9.3 million in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Bowery Capital and Primary Venture Partners.
+ Neighbor, a Utah-based, peer-to- peer self-storage startup, received $2.5 million in seed funding. Backers included Peak Ventures and Pelion Ventures.
+ Pincho Factory, a Miami-based, family-owned Latin American fast-casual restaurant offering premium hamburgers and grilled kebabs, closed a Series A funding round led by Ned Scherer.
BELOW THE FOLD
Allergic reaction: It’s allergy season, but the experts – including a Stony Brook Medicine allergist/immunologist – have got your back.
Screen time: Why New York State now requires law-enforcement agencies to provide video records of interrogations of suspects accused of murder, rape and other violent crimes.
Horse power: Turns out, what they taught us in school about the Pony Express wasn’t quite right. Here’s 11 things you might not know, straight from the horses’ mouths.
Gentle reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free news,” so please support the amazing institutions that generously support Innovate LI – including Hofstra University, where Executive Dean Mark Lesko has the Center for Entrepreneurship cranking.