Startups

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…


Getting excited about Hofstra’s ‘Startup Weekend’

By GREGORY ZELLER // A marathon business-development exercise with a global lineage will give Long Island entrepreneurs a commercialization crash course, with two feet on the accelerator. Hofstra University is scheduled to host Startup Weekend Long Island, a Friday-to-Sunday event uniting developers, designers and non-technical business types for 54 hours of product-pitching, business-forming and other commercialization essentials, with a healthy helping of mentorship and networking. The April 21-23 event is part of the Startup Weekend…


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…


For co-working ‘Bridge,’ Harrison Street works

By GREGORY ZELLER // For Long Beach-based co-working facilitator Bridgeworks LLC, the most logical place for its first expansion facility was, naturally, Long Beach. The idea is more about expanding the brand’s scope, according to founder Graham Beck, and less about expanding its physical footprint – though it’s partly about that, too, with the company purposely selecting a neighboring venue to create “a campus-type situation,” Beck noted. But the biggest reason Bridgeworks has renovated and…


Despite turmoil, software startup banking on ACA

By GREGORY ZELLER // Wholesale changes to the Affordable Care Act may loom, but a Long Island software startup has gone all-in on a potentially enormous healthcare vertical that hinges on Obamacare’s basic principles. Not only that, but EcoSoft Health PRM – an artificially intelligent partner relationship-management platform exclusively for healthcare providers, published by Wantagh-based EcoSoft Health and Florida-based DSHI Systems – doubles down on the three main tenets of the national healthcare law. Besides…


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…


Take a deep breath, Oxxy/Gen is on the way

By GREGORY ZELLER // Better late than never, Soteria Technologies still plans to be there when it’s needed most. Specifically: when a fire or other emergency situation makes air unbreathable, and a “personal escape respirator” is required. About a year after securing a $200,000 angel investment, Lindenhurst-based Soteria Technologies is finally ready to commence production of its first 1,000 Oxxy/Gen units – just as soon as it completes a 30-day, $85,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which…


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…


For nutrition’s sake, Benji comes home

By GREGORY ZELLER // A “side gig” for a nutrition-minded professional couple – he’s a botanist, she’s a health teacher – could be the best thing to happen to your best friend’s tummy in a long while, and maybe his breath. In love with their springer-spaniel Benji but not thrilled with the nutritional choices provided by retail-grade pet foods or specialty brands, health and physical education teacher Allison Graziose (master’s of education, Stony Brook University) and her…


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…