startups

For startups seeking capital, the name is no game

By GREGORY ZELLER // What’s in a name? Maybe everything, if you’re a startup in need of early-stage capital. A new study by researchers from Stony Brook University, Drexel University and Villanova University explores the effects of “name fluency” on investors – that is, the familiarity, uniqueness and phonetic influence of a company name, and how venture capitalists tend to react. By exploring “the two ways you can evaluate a name, two kinds of fluency,”…


Where data ends, the real business intelligence begins

By GREGORY ZELLER // In the Big Data era, simply having data isn’t enough – it’s what you do with it that counts. That’s the thinking behind SFL Scientific LLC, a 2015 startup that puts the intelligence in “business intelligence” by not only crunching numbers, but helping clients understand what the algorithms and other data-driven discoveries really mean – and how best to capitalize on them. Technically headquartered in Boston, but with the bulk of…


OYOclass act: Kids get with the programming

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Never Too Young To Start file comes OYOclass.com, an innovative computer-programming platform that embraces project-based learning principles to help even the youngest students leapfrog into the future. Just ask the Long Island 9-year-old who earns paychecks modifying source code to create covers for “Minecraft” novels, or the nine Island middle-schoolers who this week are taking state AP Computer Science exams – usually reserved for high school juniors and seniors…


For this niche chef, the bright ideas keep coming

By GREGORY ZELLER // The lightbulb moment was clear. But the lightbulb? That was more happenstance. Entrepreneurial chef Alaila-Lee Lawrence can trace the branches of her Clovesz beverage line straight through her family tree: her grandfather, the Orlando restaurateur; her cousin, the Canadian caterer; her grandmother, the matriarch who migrated from Jamaica to England to the United States to find a better life for her family. The heart of her drinks – sorrel, a perennial…


For this engineer, a triple Skoop (with patience on top)

By GREGORY ZELLER // Ten years in operation, offices on two continents, employees and partners on four, a step ahead of the planet’s most lucrative digital-marketing technologies – and for all intents and purposes, a startup. That’s how founder and CEO Dan Giacopelli describes Skoop!, an interactive-marketing-services provider with a multifaceted menu of scalable programs for retailers, salons, restaurants and just about any business whose customers might happen to carry a cellphone. Headquartered in Plainview,…


On this marketing mission, niche guys finish first

By GREGORY ZELLER // As Dean DeCarlo sees it, established companies – even some bigger ones – have a unique problem. With the digital age upon us and more customers moving online, many product and service providers are falling behind, according to the entrepreneur, because they don’t understand the nuances of digital engagement. Branded media, web design, paid media campaigns – this is the new definition of “company representation,” according to Mission Disrupt Ltd., a 2016 startup…


At Garvies Point, raising a glass to sour success

By GREGORY ZELLER // There’s nothing so sweet as the sours at Garvies Point Craft Brewery, where childhood chums are turning an old-school Belgium brewing technique into an innovative success story. Launched in March 2015 and officially on tap as of April 2016, the Glen Cove microbrewery’s homegrowns – already gracing tasting rooms and distributorships across Long Island and Brooklyn – leverage two personal backstories and one ancient fermentation technique largely lost on American beermakers,…


Her sofrito is better, and it’s nothing personal

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Different Definitions of Success file comes Vivian Jarrett, who boasts a dynamite product and a lock-down strategy to keep it quiet. She also has a compelling backstory and a noble mission involving centuries of tradition, all of which ties neatly into Jarrett’s master plan to keep her sofrito from the masses. For now. As an entrepreneur, Jarrett is a cultural phenomenon of sorts, heavy on the culture, more interested…


Info overload? Get aggregated, not aggravated

By GREGORY ZELLER // In a world where “fake news” proliferates and those daily intelligence briefings really do drag on, there comes an artificially intelligent response. Entrepreneur Blake Cornell, a self-described “nerd’s nerd” who routinely follows bright ideas with several thousand lines of code, doesn’t necessarily intend Long Island Tech News to be the antidote to agenda-driven phonies masquerading as journalists. But by carefully selecting his news aggregator’s sources – and giving users unprecedented control…


Spotlighting ‘dark data,’ and other IT inefficiencies

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Stony Brook tech firm with a hard-science history is tracking data’s “unknown unknowns,” helping enterprise administrators control complex and rapidly changing IT environments. ModelizeIT, a 2012 startup launched by Russian import Nikolai Joukov, is a cyber detective of sorts, fine-toothed-combing servers both frontline and forgotten to discover “dark data” and other costly and potentially dangerous information-storage inefficiencies. Unlike structured data (database content, for instance), dark data – generally defined as operational…


For autistic gamers, the old school rules

By GREGORY ZELLER // In a world ruled by Nathan Drake and Master Chief, a passionate video gamer has taken the entrepreneurial plunge with the Mario brothers and an old-school hedgehog. As digital art and functionality have leapt forward, so have videogames, with cinema-quality graphics, deep storylines and a multitude of complex controls. But some longtime players would suggest the gaming industry has lost its way: The characters of the popular “Uncharted” and “Halo” series…


Live, from LI: It’s short-attention-span theater!

By GREGORY ZELLER // John Richardson knows startups. He launched two in his early teens, and therein learned a primary entrepreneurial lesson: business-development growing pains strike nearly all early-stagers, in virtually every industry. So even Richardson, who was “literally incorporated at age 14” and did surprisingly well with those Doogie Howser-esque enterprises, is surprised by the rapid development of Quick-Cast, his latest endeavor. Focused on society’s evolving (or de-evolving) fascination with short video segments, the…


Time-tripping to ice cream’s past, and a hot future

By GREGORY ZELLER // I scream, you scream … but only Richard Blech screens for ice cream. It’s taken Blech years of diligent Internet searches to assemble the yesteryear fleet of The Vintage Ice Cream Guys, a Jericho-based startup that delivers classic products – original Good Humor bars, old-school candies like Dots and Bit-O-Honey – using actual trucks from bygone eras. These are not replicas. Each of the three trucks in the fleet is a…


Five healthy years later, Rockin’ on in Hauppauge

By GREGORY ZELLER // New blood and a new order-fulfillment deal are part of the growth formula for Rockin’ Wellness, a feel-good story dancing to its own tune. Embracing a “business not as usual” campaign that recalls its offbeat roots, the Hauppauge health-drink maker has welcomed a new chief operating officer – David Finkelstein, who drank the Kool-Aid in May – and signed a core order-fulfillment contract with Just Nutra, stage name for Islandia-based dietary…


Boston wins big in Buffalo biz contest

Oncolinx, a Boston startup that develops cancer immunotherapies known as antibody-drug conjugates, was the $1 million winner in this year’s running of the 43North business plan contest in Buffalo. The contest, which calls itself the richest business plan contest in the world, also awarded $600,000 to a runner-up and $500,000 to six other finalists. One caveat: Winners have to agree to relocate to Buffalo for one year to claim their prize. Oncolinx, which targets cancer cells…