Phil Rugile

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…


At Impish Lee, everyone’s a softwear designer

By GREGORY ZELLER // Most startups must deal with a few curves. And then there’s Impish Lee, the Sea Cliff-based lingerie maker founded by sisters Noelle and Kali Ventresca. Manufacturing intimate apparel wasn’t part of the discussion when Noelle was studying music business and film scoring at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and Kali was an art student at SUNY New Paltz. But Noelle started designing lingerie as a pastime, and Kali started photographing the…


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…


Squeezing an A into STEM

Education and workforce development come together Nov. 17 to explore the future world in which science and creativity happily co-exist. Popularly called STEAM, the movement aims to build well-rounded workers of tomorrow who embrace the hard skills of science, technology, engineering and math but haven’t lost sight of the undisputed value of the arts. “I believe this is the first Long Island conference that brings educators, technology companies and businesspeople together to discuss the significance…


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…


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…