Calverton

Sky King, and his World of Tomorrow

By GREGORY ZELLER // A gallery of high-ranking observers watched Dan Preston’s dreams take flight Friday – and along with them, a potential rebirth of a once-great Long Island industry. In a sun-splashed coming-out party attended by an impressive gallery of regional rainmakers, Preston’s Luminati Aerospace officially debuted the V0 Substrata, a light solar-electric craft that can be piloted or fly autonomously and represents a soaring climb toward Luminati’s perpetual-flight objectives. The big picture: Unmanned…


Life is sweet for Backyard Brine. And sour. And spicy and …

By GREGORY ZELLER // Randy Kopke knows there’s an artisan in all of us. For the self-employed contractor – tile and masonry, mostly – it turned out to be pickling, a hobby he shared with his wife, Cori, a freelance bookkeeper. Just two years after the amateurs supplied 200 jars of handcrafted pickles as favors for a relative’s Montauk wedding, their inner entrepreneurs have come roaring out. Their 2013 startup Backyard Brine Inc. is graduating…


Meet the Luminati Aerospace R&D team

Luminati Aerospace shed light on its top management this week, trotting out the startup’s top design and science officers before the Riverhead town board and local residents. The firm, which has proposed building communication drones for a major – but so far unnamed – technology client, is negotiating an agreement to manage the largest runway at the former Grumman test facility at Calverton. The company said it plans to invest an initial $50 million at…


Daniel Preston, the thrust behind Luminati Aerospace

By GREGORY ZELLER // Daniel Preston, CEO of Luminati Aerospace, the Brooklyn startup with plans to build communication drones at Calverton, seems comfortable punching the throttle. Incorporated in Delaware in April and registered as a New York LLC in July, Luminati  is ready to fly. Company officials, including Preston, are already relocating to Riverhead, and the firm is pushing for speedy approvals of its plans, which include expanding a former skydiving school at Calverton and taking over…


Secretive drone firm to invest $50M+ at Calverton

By JOHN L. KOMINICKI // Calverton’s enterprise zone is near a deal with a Brooklyn aeronautical startup that plans to build giant, solar-powered aircraft that would fly high above commercial jet traffic and beam laser-powered communication signals to earth. The firm, Luminati Aerospace, has acquired the land and buildings of a skydiving school at the former Grumman test site and is set to invest $50 million and employ 40 to 50 people, according to Riverhead Supervisor…


Buncee goes to the head of the class

By GREGORY ZELLER // Buncee is putting the “e” in education. Educators across the country are embracing the Calverton-based company’s “digital canvas,” which was originally designed as an e-greeting-type multimedia communications tool but has emerged as an award-winning educational resource. Buncee has become so popular as a teaching tool, in fact, that the company is in the process of rolling out an education-specific platform called Buncee for Edu. With some features not expected to go…