LaunchPad Huntington

Morning of a thousand stars

(Photos by Bob Giglione) A dazzling array of sensational scientists, energetic entrepreneurs and regional rainmakers gathered April 24 for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards. Innovate Long Island’s third-annual innovation celebration, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, honored 2018 Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek, senior partner at Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and chairman of the Long Island Angel Network. The breakfast banquet also recognized more than 40 of the…


No. 289: Einstein raps, inventors unite, LIJ expands and why flying taxis are closer than you thought

Slice of life: Welcome to March 14, dear readers, not quite the Ides of March (that’s tomorrow) but still a significant anniversary for mathematicians. The 426th, to be precise, of Ultimate Pi Day, which at precisely 6:53 a.m. on this date in 1592 marked the longest correspondence between the date and the opening digits of the infinite mathematical constant pi (3.141592653…) since the introduction of the Julian calendar. From cotton to Led: American inventor Eli…


No. 286: ‘King Kong’ lives, Janam Tech muscles up and Sammy Chu bites off more than … actually, he can definitely handle it

Welcome to Friday: You’ve done it again, readers and friends – another week of socioeconomic progress in the books, another weekend earned. It was also a Friday, 56 years ago tonight, on March 2, 1962, when Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain set the NBA’s unassailable single-game scoring record, pouring in a phenomenal 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169-147 win over the New York Knicks. And that’s without the Nike endorsement: Speaking of record-setting…


For Xogito, getting there is only half the fun

By GREGORY ZELLER // Everybody needs a friend – especially early-stage entrepreneurs who know more about their specific field than they do about starting a business. That’s the thinking behind Xogito, a Huntington-based “global citizen company” offering software services ranging from design and user strategy to content creation and Big Data analysis – everything the eager entrepreneur who doesn’t happen to be a software specialist needs to know. Cofounding brothers Constantine and Aris Spathis put…


Debrief: Keeping busy with Phil Rugile

There’s never a dull moment when you’re Phil Rugile, who pulls double duty as director of the hyperactive LaunchPad Huntington and as “human capital strategist” at eGifter, the Huntington-based digital gifting/corporate prepaid solutions specialist that remains one of Long Island’s great innovation success stories. When Innovate LI last Debriefed the media-savvy entrepreneur, LaunchPad Huntington was barely a year old and still finding its way; two years hence, Rugile has honed the co-working space into a…


Brain drain? Put a cork in it

By GREGORY ZELLER // Don’t whine when you can wine. That was one of the big ideas Wednesday, when a select group of educators, hospitality professionals and economic-development experts – each with a particular interest in addressing Long Island’s infamous “brain drain” – toured several East End winemaking facilities. Arranged by the Long Island regional office of the Workforce Development Institute, the field trip was designed to help insiders understand the workforce needs and career…


LaunchPad, EisnerAmper pitch in on VC

By GREGORY ZELLER // Six Long Island startups made their way to Midtown Manhattan Monday night to pitch directly to top-shelf investors, a golden opportunity that could serve as a template for a new regional investment consortium. Organized by LaunchPad Huntington and national accounting stalwart EisnerAmper, the pitch-a-thon was held at EisnerAmper’s Third Avenue offices and put the startups in front of 11 angel investors, seed funds and venture-capital groups – a bring-them-to-the-mountain moment meant…


Skin care startup wins Hot Spot designation

By GREGORY ZELLER // Empire State Development has welcomed a third LaunchPad Huntington-sponsored startup into its Innovation Hot Spot program. The state’s economic-development driver has opened the books for Smithtown-based Kantian Sciences Corp., a 2015 spinoff of 2012 startup Kantian Skincare LLC. Kantian is a maker of anti-acne products, with production of its proprietary skin-care medications contracted in Pennsylvania. Kantian, which maintains an office in LaunchPad Huntington in addition to its headquarters inside the Smithtown…


Debrief: Phil Rugile, LaunchPad Huntington

A longtime strategic consultant and successful entrepreneur in his own right, Phil Rugile is the perfect soldier to fight for Long Island’s innovation economy, and the right man to lead the energetic LaunchPad Huntington facility. Also an Entrepreneur in Residence for Accelerate Long Island, the human capital strategist at eGifter and founder of 100 Urban Entrepreneurs – a nonprofit mentoring program for inner-city startups – Rugile is media-savvy, highly creative and enthusiastic about the Island’s…


urSwim is beginning to make waves

By GREGORY ZELLER // An Aquarius with a waterborne name, born to two Pisces, Marina Montes has been treading aquatic allusions all her life. She finally decided to just go with the flow. After finishing law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and passing the North Carolina and New York bar exams, Montes – the 2011 Miss Long Island pageant winner – skipped a law career to start her own business. She’d made some…


LaunchPad Huntington's Phil Rugile

Rocketing interest in LaunchPad Huntington

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re packing them in at LaunchPad Huntington, with a host of new tenants hanging their shingles inside the year-old co-working space – including three new residents liberated from Brooklyn. In a reversal of Long Island’s cursed westward migration, a trio of unrelated professionals – including a Microsoft field operative and the Workforce Development Institute’s regional director – has headed east from Kings County to live and work on the Island, with…


LaunchPad Huntington's Phil Rugile

Quick — how do I grow my business?

You’ve heard of speed dating and speed networking. Now comes speed … mentoring. Set for May 19, the program is an outreach by the state’s year-old Business Mentor NY initiative and is designed to match experienced businesspeople with new entrepreneurs, with the goal of creating broader – and, we hope, longer-lasting – relationships. Introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2014 State of the State Address, Business Mentor NY has attracted more than 750 volunteer…


Nomorobo's Aaron Foss

Maker’s markt set for LaunchPad Huntington

BY GREGORY ZELLER LaunchPad Huntington has landed a $15,000 grant from Albany’s Workforce Development Institute to build out a 3D maker space prototyping facility. The grant covers the cost of a cutting machine, a dedicated computer loaded with CAD drawing software and a desktop-sized 3D printer, all being purchased now. The space should be up and running by late May, according to Phil Rugile, LaunchPad Huntington’s director. “This is a really significant 21st century opportunity…