No. 323: Energystics sets sail, the Brookhaven IDA bites down, SBU researchers cash in and Adelphi gets Shiggy with it

Accidentally (on purpose): After taking off from Brooklyn a day earlier, Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan landed in Ireland 80 years ago today … though he was supposed to fly to California.

Half-full: Welcome to Wednesday, July 18, and the midpoint of another busy week for the Long Island innovation economy. To our readers in Uruguay, a very happy Constitution Day.

Intelligent design: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Intel Corp., founded July 18, 1968, in California.

The wrong stuff: And it was July 18, 1938 when Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan landed in Ireland after a 28-hour flight from Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, though his filed flight plan was supposed to take him to California.

Corrigan claimed fog and other atmospheric interference caused him to miss landmarks and misread his compass. The “error” brought him international celebrity; pundits of the day (and ever since) agree the infamous “wrong way” journey was quite intentional.

The right stuff: Former South African President Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) and John Herschel Glenn Jr. (1921-2016) – U.S. Marine, World War II fighter pilot, first astronaut to orbit the Earth and U.S. senator – mark birthdays today.

So do pioneering British scientists Robert Hooke (1635-1703) and Gilbert White (1720-1793), “Peace Pilgrim” Mildred Lisette Norman (1908-1981), author/journalist Hunter Thompson (1937-2005) and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (born 1940).

He is Groot: And take a bow, Vin Diesel – the amped-up action hero, born Mark Sinclair, turns 51 today.

Wish them all a fast and furious birthday at editor@innovateli.com, and include a story tip or calendar item, too, because we’re kinda greedy like that.

 

A few words from our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.

 

BUT FIRST, THIS

Climate change jackpot: Two elite Stony Brook University researchers hit it big this week, scoring a combined $21.75 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding to back two SBU “Energy Frontier Research Centers” – the circa-2014 Center for Mesoscale Transport Properties and the Next Generation Synthesis Center (known as m2M and GENESIS, respectively).

The m2M, led by renowned energy-storage pioneer and SUNY Distinguished Professor Esther Takeuchi (who is also chief scientist of the Energy Sciences Directorate at Brookhaven National Laboratory), will receive a four-year, $12 million grant to continue advancing the design of materials and components that achieve higher-performing, longer-lasting and safer energy-storage systems. The all-new GENESIS proposed by John Parise, a SUNY Distinguished Professor in SBU’s Department of Geosciences and a chemist in BNL’s Photon Sciences Directorate, earned a four-year, $9.75 million grant to advance in situ diagnostics and data-science tools.

Both programs – which are also receiving financial support from NYSTAR, NYSERDA and SBU – help make the university “a leader on the advanced-energy stage,” according to Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley Jr. “This work will transform energy-storage technology and materials,” Stanley said Tuesday, “and contribute to the solutions that will address the most pressing issue our world is facing right now: climate change.”

Bridge work: The Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency is considering an application for economic incentives from a dental laboratory eyeing a new Yaphank facility.

Manorville-based FES Labs LLC (and affiliate Yaphank Management LLC) plan to purchase a 5,759-square-foot former woodworking shop on Horseblock Road, renovate it and equip it with digital scanners, 3D printers and other high-tech tools needed to fabricate zirconia bridges, dental apparatuses made from the durable dental ceramic zirconium oxide.

The plan would actually combine two existing businesses (Manorville’s Pure Dental PC and Holbrook-based Elite Margins) into the new FES Labs, and might also include a New Mexico-based dental implant manufacturer relocating its 10-person team to Yaphank. To offset the costs of the $865,000 purchase/renovation plan – and to avoid a potential relocation to Queens or New Jersey instead – FES Labs is looking for a tax-abatement deal from the Brookhaven IDA, and the IDA is “pleased” to consider the application, according to Chairman Frederick Braun III. “New high-tech manufacturing businesses, such as FES, are vital to economic growth in Brookhaven,” Braun noted Tuesday.

 

TOP OF THE SITE

Loves boats: Stony Brook-based clean-gen startup Energystics may have finally found the right vertical to properly launch its patented Vibristor “vibrational energy” technology.

Ripening on the STEM: Two Long Island high-schoolers took top honors (and a cool $10,000) in an international clean-tech competition sponsored by Hauppauge-based Spellman HV Electronics.

Act now: New York State is running out of chances to grab the lead in the burgeoning offshore wind-power industry, warn leaders of the Workforce Development Institute and the Long Island Federation of Labor.

How they spent their summer vacation: A summer research fellowship focused on the Mill River Basin will pair several of LI’s scientists of tomorrow with Hofstra University researchers.

 

STUFF WE’RE READING

Expansion contraction: From Fast Company, working through the paradox of increasing economic expansion even as we’re running out of space on Planet Earth.

Innovation consternation: From Forbes, why so many institutions of higher learning are discouraging innovation among future workforces.

Keen-o on Reno: From Newsday, why a century-old, family-run plumbing supply business has hung a shingle in Nevada.

The more, the merrier: Please share this newsletter with all the likeminded innovators in your professional circles – and encourage them to subscribe for free.

 

RECENT FUNDINGS

+ Goodwall, a New York City-based professional-development network for young talent, closed a $10.8 million Series A funding round led by Randstad Innovation Fund and Manixer, with participation from Francis Clivaz, Zurich Cantonal Bank and Verve Capital Partners.

+ Cell-Ed, a California-based mobile-learning solution for low-skilled, low-literate, low-wage workers worldwide, raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Lumina Impact Ventures, with participation from Strada Education Innovation Fund, Partners Group Impact and Twilio.org Impact Fund.

+ EndoGastric Solutions, a Washington State-based leader in incisionless procedural therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease, secured $30.5 million in financing led by existing investors Advanced Technology Ventures, Canaan Partners, Canepa Healthcare, Chicago Growth Partners, CRG, Radius Ventures and Sightline Partners, along with several new investors.

+ Swing Education, a California-based on-demand platform allowing schools to connect with qualified educators via an online marketplace, secured $15 million in Series B funding led by GV and Owl Ventures, with participation from Social Capital, Kapor Capital, Moment Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Redhouse Education and Edovate Capital.

+ Convene, a NYC-based network of tech-enabled meeting, event and flexible workspaces, secured $152 million in Series D funding led by ArrowMark Partners, with participation from Declaration Capital, QuadReal Property Group, Revolution Growth and RXR Realty.

 

BELOW THE FOLD

Hack this: President Trump may be confused, but Gov. Cuomo has no doubts about Russian election hacking – and he’s taking action.

Adelphi’s got talent: Orientation leaders at the Garden City university have accepted Instagram star “Shiggy’s” dance challenge.

In a pinch: How a brilliant redesign of classic chopsticks may help you with your arthritis.

The price of awesome: Love this newsletter? So do we. Please help us continue to brighten your inbox by supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI – including Farrell Fritz, where the new Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group is keeping a close eye on the action in Albany.