News

At Hofstra, getting pretty good at this pandemic pivot

By GREGORY ZELLER // Still planning an in-person grand finale for October, one of Hofstra University’s most popular entrepreneurship efforts has transitioned – smoothly, if temporarily – to a virtual format. Hofstra’s Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge has performed the pandemic pivot, with a full week of online mentorship and study commencing Monday for 31 participating healthcare startups, including four based on Long Island. Engaging them online is an impressive cross-section of health, law and med-tech…


Pharma upgrade, Hempstead two-step, LI marches on

By GREGORY ZELLER // In the best possible sign for the Long Island innovation economy, the business of business continues, with regional industrial-development agencies stepping up to keep the Island keeping on. The latest examples: A Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency incentives package for Hauppauge-based InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, which is scaling up on Old Willets Path, and a switcharoo of sorts facilitated by the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency, which is helping a Long Beach…


At Renaissance School, a closer look at depression

By GREGORY ZELLER // A hefty federal grant will support a multi-disciplined team of Stony Brook University researchers with a unique take on the enigma that is depression. Combining experts in psychological health, pharmacological sciences and next-generation scanning technologies, the team hopes to better understand how inflammation in the brain is related to the leading worldwide disorder and its myriad forms – and it now has a $3.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to…


Debrief: Schnirman, on Nassau’s instant ‘revenue crisis’

Released Monday, an executive summary of Nassau County’s sales tax revenues (historically good for 40 percent of total county revenues, Nassau’s single-largest income source) shows a predictable and potentially devastating decline in the Age of Coronavirus: as much as $360 million (28 percent) off county projections for 2020, and maybe $1 billion short for 2020-21, if a second COVID-19 wave forces further shutdowns. Nassau had a running start on another year of handsome sales tax…


High honor for Farmingdale State high school effort

By GREGORY ZELLER // An innovative Farmingdale State College program built for eager high school students who can’t wait to crack the collegiate books has earned prestigious national accreditation. Farmingdale State’s University in the High School program, which offers high-achieving high schoolers courses from 19 departments across Farmingdale State’s four schools, has been officially endorsed by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. The circa-1998 program is rather literally named: University in the High School…


Debrief: Topper, on a world of reinvention and hope

Thirty years later, Hilary Topper – part marketing ace, part social influencer, all 21st century It Girl – is still going strong. Game-changing technological jolts, 9/11, the Great Recession and now, of course, the great 2020 coronavirus pandemic … none have stopped the clever self-promoter and fierce businesswoman from building Long Beach-based HJMT Public Relations into one of Long Island’s best-known and most-respected marketing brands. With a new book (“Branding in a Digital World: How…


Gains on two fronts: Same-day test, virus ‘neutralizer’

By GREGORY ZELLER // An ambitious Long Island biotech is reporting exciting progress in a two-front battle against the raging novel coronavirus. Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences on Tuesday announced that it has applied for FDA approval of its Linea COVID-19 diagnostic kit, which detects SARS-CoV-2 – the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease – with same-day results. The announcement comes one day after Applied DNA and Italian biopharma Takis Biotech said the first…


A fate worse than death? Docs decry drop in ER visits

By GREGORY ZELLER // A disturbing and growing trend of the 2020 pandemic sees non-COVID-19 patients in medical distress avoiding hospital emergency rooms – with detrimental, sometimes fatal consequences. This dangerous development is evident at Stony Brook University Hospital, where both Emergency Department visits and hospital admissions – minus Persons Under Investigation for the novel coronavirus – are way down. The lockdowns and quasi-quarantines have myriad effects on emergency room activity; for instance, motor vehicle…


Hofstra biz-plan contest ventures into new territory

By GREGORY ZELLER // The coronavirus couldn’t stop tradition at Hofstra University, where the regularly scheduled Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge went off without a hitch, virtually. Now in its eighth year, the business plan contest – which challenges Hofstra students to come up with new products or services and create business plans to commercialize them – held its final competition round April 24. As per custom, the penultimate pitch-off pitted 10 finalists in a winners-take-all…


Pharma manufacturers, IDA eye Hauppauge redux

By GREGORY ZELLER // Old economic-development friends have crossed paths again in Hauppauge, with a critical new ED edict. The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has issued preliminary approval of a tax-abatement deal that will help prescription drug-maker ScieGen Pharmaceuticals remake two-thirds of its 92,000-square-foot Hauppauge space – a manufacturing motivator designed to pump up output and create new jobs. One-hundred-six new jobs, according to the IDA, with ScieGen Pharmaceuticals engaging a Long Island-based supply…


Willumstad wings it with virtual biz-plan competition

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s innovation squared at the Willumstad School of Business, where a business-plan competition rewarding inventiveness has performed a pandemic pivot. Student entrepreneurs from across the multifaceted Adelphi University campus will still have a chance to strut their stuff in the Willumstad School’s annual “Shark Tank”-like competition, but with the Garden City campus closed by the coronavirus, the final round of the 2020 contest will be virtual – a Zoom-hosted pitch-a-thon slated…


LI biotech speeds COVID-19 vaccine candidates to Italy

By GREGORY ZELLER // With preliminary lab tests looking good, an innovative Long Island biotech is rushing a quintet of potential COVID-19 vaccines overseas. Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences announced Wednesday that it has completed “design qualifications” and shipped five COVID-19 vaccine candidates to Italian biopharma Takis Biotech, a frequent collaborator working closely with Applied DNA to counter the coronavirus. The vaccine candidates were produced using the Stony Brook biotech’s proprietary, polymerase chain reaction-based LinearDNA…


Island colleges ease tough senior moments, virtually

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island’s top-shelf institutions of higher learning are springing to action to help one of the pandemic’s healthiest – and most negatively affected – populations. Among other well-documented chaos, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on every level of national education, but especially among university-bound high-schoolers who are a) losing out on proms and other senior-year victory laps and b) caught in the middle of their college-application processes. No doubt, academia’s coming recovery…


Incentives abound as Nassau IDA, LEAC plug away

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s full steam ahead in Nassau County’s economic-development wing, where the coronavirus can’t slow the works. The Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corp. and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency have pressed forward with a number of jobs-creating, economy-sustaining bond sales and incentives packages, helping top international franchisers, regional schools and others keep on keeping on during and after the great pandemic of 2020. Right at the top: The IDA’s preliminary…


FuzeHub stakes $400K for quick-acting manufacturers

By GREGORY ZELLER // As the COVID-19 fight rages, a statewide manufacturing motivator is throwing a large chunk of change into the ring. FuzeHub, Albany’s New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership center bridging smaller manufacturing companies and various industry resources, has launched a funding competition, dangling $400,000 in “COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants” before pandemic-minded pugilists. Specifically, before “small to medium-sized” New York State manufacturers who are up to FDA snuff and capable of “quickly accelerat(ing) production of…