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New home, new partners for ambitious STEAM startup

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s all coming together for slightly nomadic nonprofit We Connect the Dots, which may have found a permanent home – and has definitely identified some promising partners on its STEAM-powered mission. The registered 501(c)3, intent on leveling the technological playing field for underprivileged students via extracurricular science, mathematics, engineering, art and math activities, is now occupying 2,500 square feet in Syosset, carved out of a larger commercial space swimming with children’s…

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Cemtrex closes in on key VR software acquisition

By GREGORY ZELLER // Reality check: A Farmingdale-based tech firm is reinforcing a lucrative virtual vertical with a big push into VR. International tech manufacturer and distributor Cemtrex Inc. announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire a New York City-based virtual-reality software-development firm. While it has revealed some clues as to the target company’s identity – it was founded in 2010, employs more than 30 programmers and boasts annual sales…


Digital Donations eyes $5M (real) to back crypto ‘coin’

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Melville tech developer pursuing distinct nonprofit and commercial verticals has launched a $5 million crowdfunding campaign to help create its own cryptocurrency. Digital Donations Inc. on Sept. 17 flipped the switch on its ambitious Crowdfunder.com equity effort, targeting what the company called “expanded development” of its proprietary cryptocurrency CoinGIV and its “digital wallet” PayGIV. Both services are designed to streamline charitable giving opportunities. It’s a return to form, somewhat, for…


A profitable pivot (sorta) for Digital Donations

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re thinking big at Digital Donations Inc., as in Big Data. The Melville tech manufacturer has made its bones providing “alternative fundraising solutions” for nonprofit organizations, including ATM-based and point-of-sale-centered donation options. It even founded a virtual school to train charity-group founders, directors and staffers. Now, the 2014 startup is focusing its tech on for-profit customers – not abandoning its nonprofit doctrine but adding to it, according to co-founder and President…


With Watson’s help, Adelphi hackers wow IBM judges

A team of crack Adelphi University computer-science students took second place, and a step toward a potential commercial venture, at a recent New York City hackathon. Students Sarthak Arora, Prasanth Venigalla, Jai Punjwani and Harmit Minhas, all projected members of the Class of 2018 at the Garden City university, captured the $1,500 runner-up prize at the API-First Hackathon, a three-day June coding event sponsored by MobileMonday, a national community of innovators, entrepreneurs and other tech-minded…


At Fred Dunwoody’s, when you’re write, you’re right

By GREGORY ZELLER // The writing is on the wall at FJD & Associates, and it looks like founder Fred Dunwoody was right all along. Dunwoody, who leveraged a long-term sales career in imaging-related industries into his 2010 startup, knew that healthcare trades would eventually become a cornerstone of his bottom line. His Westbury-based tech firm distributes high-tech document and data-capture solutions for paper and tablets – the cutting edge of “digital writing” – and…


As ransomware attacks multiply, SUNY steps up

By GREGORY ZELLER // With fresh ransomware attacks spreading chaos around the globe, Stony Brook University is stepping up its cybersecurity game. Leveraging $4.5 million in grants issued this week by the SUNY Empire Innovation Program, SBU is engaging an intensive recruitment effort to attract major minds in the fields of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The stipend from the EIP, a state-funded competitive grant program focused on recruiting and retaining top faculty throughout the SUNY…