No. 90: Ubering up, driverless Formula One and medical pot’s a bust

TGIF: A great Friday to everybody and welcome new readers. It’s Dec. 4, National Faux Fur Day. Not sure how to celebrate that, but have at it. The first Whopper was sold on this day in Miami in 1954. Tyra Banks is 42. We send good thoughts to our pal Harvey Brofman, who is resting, very likely uncomfortably, at a NYC hospital, but home soon.

Millennials disappoint: U.S. small business creation is up for the first time in six years, but startups owned by those aged 20 to 34 are down by 50 percent since 1996, according to a new Kauffman report.

Uber doesn’t: The ride sharing firm is reportedly (Bloomberg) raising another $2 billion at a valuation topping $60 billion. Tiger Global and T. Rowe already in.

The Harpo Touch: Avon shares jumped this week on word that media mogul Oprah Winfrey might buy a stake in the troubled beauty products firm. Forget that Winfrey’s team denied the rumors – her taking a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers buoyed shares there by 90 percent.

Weeding out the crowds: Medical marijuana dispensaries, due to open in January, will not suffer from customer over-demand, Crain’s suggests.

Spin cycle: NYC’s indoor cycling fitness company, Peloton Interactive, is raising $75 million by selling a stake to Catterton, a private equity firm focused on consumer businesses.

Just turn left: Driverless cars will begin competing in their own Formula One event next year. (We called them slot cars when I was a kid.)

Attention IDAs: The Denton, Texas city council has approved $8 million in tax benefits for a Buc-ee gas station that will feature almost 100 pumps and 50,000 feet of retail space. (FYI: Buc-ee is a beaver. T-shirts available.)

The Internet of Dings: Parking garages of the near future will offer green/red lighting to alert you to open spaces, plus significantly better security and lower carbon footprints. Most importantly, they’ll know you’re coming and offer you a great spot … for a price.

He gets all the good assignments: Jimmy McCune, Innovate’s craft beverage editor at large, walks us through A Taste of Long Island, New York State’s first co-working brewery, where a half-dozen diminutive brands have already taken flight. (Or is that flights?)

Real intelligence: There are many ways through the R&D maze, but impressing a deep-pocketed customer and partnering up for the future is a great way to go. Just ask ULC Robotics.

On the mend: Glen Cove’s historic Orchard neighborhood is in line for state funding to bring hundreds of environmentally tainted properties back to life. (The Orchard, BTW, is home to the Tom Suozzi-led Stango’s eateria, the Island’s oldest Italian restaurant but shuttering at month’s end, we’re sorry to report.)


And detox for all: Northport startup Aqua Vectors has an incredibly hard to understand, but remarkably cheap, way of getting nitrates out of water, potentially saving our aquifers and life as we generally know it. Patent pending and a big test with a municipal treatment system coming.

Another day, another deal: Henry Schein, the ever-restless medical supply behemoth, has landed a U.S. distribution deal for cutting-edge diabetes control products that include real-time monitoring and a tummy port for the needle-averse. About 28 million Americans have type 2 diabetes at the moment, and the number is surging.

Digital justice:, which helps the mobile set find a good lawyer when they need one, has upped its game with a 2.0 platform that significantly boosts services for attorneys. Now in most states, founder Sam Shusterhoff tells us. (He wouldn’t out where he isn’t, but Montana is a suspect.)

Maker macher: Lawyer cum entrepreneur Todd Gordon is scouting locations for a FabLab, the MIT-inspired chain of innovation spaces that has spread faster than an urban legend, now 550+ in 50 countries. For real estate brokers in the audience today, Farmingdale-ish is a sensible bet.

HR report: A few notable personnel moves this week, the topper being news that Bob Creighton is taking over as managing partner at Farrell Fritz, allowing the long-serving Charlie Strain to get back to billable hours. Sir Charles remains on the management committee.

Same building: Ruskin Moscou Faltischek picked up a couple of veteran real estate attorneys, Jerry Siegelman and Anthony Baronci.

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Don’t miss: The unveiling of AVZ’s 22nd annual economic survey and a panel discussion with Rick Lazio, Kim Cline and Jamie Moore, maybe others, Jan. 7, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Crest Hollow, More details if you need ’em here.

Also, please: ACIT salutes local tech entrepreneurs, Dec. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Crest Hollow Country Club, Andrew Hazen keynotes, Kominicki MCs, honoring ADDAPT, Astoria Bank, Teq, Cold Spring Harbor Lab and Innovator of the Year winner Steven Patrikis, $160 for nonmembers. Reach out to Bonnie Seider at

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End of an era: Pamela Anderson will grace the cover of Playboy’s final edition with nudes. This is Pam’s 14th cover, a record. Other signs that times have changed: She’s 48.
We’ll add this soonest: Boston-based alcohol-delivery startup Drizly has created a chief cocktail officer position.

Whatever happened to Eskimo Bars? Baskin Robbins has announced the addition of a Polar Bear Dome Cake and Fudge Yule Log for the holidays. The chain has also added a flavor of the month called Oreo Cool Mint Chocolate. (If tempted, see type 2 diabetes item above.)

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.