No. 45: A future Foye, crowdfunding high rises and Sign Language rap

Train me: Dismissed from the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Long Island resident Pat Foye will now focus on NYC subways and other mass-transit issues as president of the MTA.

JOB INSECURITY: Port Authority exec Pat Foye has told senior staffers he intends to compete for the new CEO job at the agency, which is being reorganized following the Bridgegate scandal. It could be a tough slog if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a vote: Foye blew the whistle on the lane closures, which have pretty much derailed Christie’s presidential aspirations. Despite lap band surgery. No comment from Foye when reached by Innovate.

VERY DRY MARTINIS: The State Senate voted unanimously to ban the sale of powdered alcohol products, which they fear will be abused by teens. Unlike the liquid version. Earlier this year, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of a product called Palcohol, but 15 states have already pre-emptively banned the substance. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has also been pushing a federal ban.

HAUTE MEALS: The fight to help busy people cook fancy meals at home, which has pitted Silicon Alley darlings Hello Fresh, Plated and Blue Apron against each other, is back on the front burner. SoHo-based Blue Apron, which calls itself the “leading recipe and fresh ingredient delivery service,” has raised $135 million in a Series D round led by Fidelity Investments. CNY

NEWMARK, CUSHMAN ON THE CASE: New York has hired two of the state’s top real estate firms to help market Start-Up NY properties to larger firms in the United States and abroad. It’s a commission deal, so no fat fees without performance, Start-Up EVP Leslie Whatley tells Innovate.

See you there? The Start-Up NY executive team will make a stop at Stony Brook University on Monday afternoon for a program featuring Whatley, Yacov Shamash and Rong Zhao. It’s 1 p.m. at the CEWIT center.

LONG ISLAND BUILT. AND STAYING PUT. Fifty-seven years after launching, five-employee BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. of Lynbrook still acts very much like a startup. Well, except for the $300M market cap. President Tom Wegman lets us in on the power of thinking really big while staying really small. Innovate

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THE POWER OF WE IS AT LEAST $5K: Simon Baron Development is using crowdfunding to finance its planned 467-unit rental tower in Long Island City. CityFunders, a crowdfunding startup just launched by brothers Albert and David Behin, is raising $1M in equity for the project, with a minimum individual investment of $5,000. Until now, crowdfunders have focused on small-scale fix-and-flip loans. TRD

HIRED UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY: The Columbia University doctor named in the criminal patient-referral scheme with former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is suing to stop the university from ending his employment, according to documents filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan late last week.

HOT EVENT: The Alternative Board brings in The Glass Company author Bill Paolillo, and LinkedIn’s Tristram Gillen for a look at transparent companies, June 18, 8 to 10 a.m., Melville Marriott, $45, register here.

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: The Rauch Foundation invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain success in children and promote systemic change in our communities. To read more about the foundation’s many efforts, including the Long Island Index and the Build A Better Burb program, visit

A YAWNER: The tech world was underwhelmed by Apple’s over-hyped World Wide Development Conference – or Dub-Dub as it’s known – on Monday. Our favorite dis comes from Lance Ulanoff of Mashable, who derided CEO Tim Cook’s presentation as “a keynote in a minor key.” @LanceUlanoff

However, these guys were interested:The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut began a probe to determine if Apple coerced the recording industry into joining its new streaming music service. NYT

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UBS BULLISH ON THE SUN: Analysts at investment bank UBS suggest solar power will account for 10 percent of the world’s electricity supply in 10 years, replacing coal and nuclear as the “default” power generation technologies. Installed solar capacity will more than triple between now and 2025, and then triple again between 2025 and 2050, they predict. Green Tech

It can’t come quickly enough for Yingli, the world’s No. 2 solar panel manufacturer, which ran into financial trouble by cutting prices to build market share.


NEW TECH FUND COMING: BDS Capital Management is doubling down on technology with a second venture fund that will invest between $25M and $40M, largely in Long Island startups, founder Brian Rubenstein tells Innovate.  “I would like to invest more on Long Island,” he confides. That makes 3 million of us.

MAKING WAVES: Things are going swimmingly at urSwim, the Huntington-based startup that brings Uber-styled service to your backyard pool, including lessons and contract lifeguards for parties. Though an attorney by training, it all suits founder Marina Montes just fine. Innovate

ATTENTION WOODY JOHNSON: The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly inked a two-year deal with StriVR Labs, a virtual reality sports startup, to train its quarterbacks using VR headsets. After donning the headset, players see a live-action 3-D video replay of a football play from the quarterback’s perspective, and can review that action from a first-person view over and over, looking in any direction. Kinda like the NFL watching Tom Brady. Innovate

IMAGINE HER UTILITY BILL: Queen Elizabeth is seeking a permit to install solar panels on her sprawling estate in Scotland. Innovate

PARACHUTING WITH STYLE: Pall CEO Lawrence Kingsley stands to make $109M in the sale of his company to Danaher Corp, for whom he once worked. Perspective: He did triple Pall’s stock price in four years. Newsday


MYSTIC PIZZA, WE PRESUME? Hong Kong Pizza Huts have launched a special delivery box that doubles as a movie projector when connected to a smartphone. The boxes come with a QR code that allows customers to download free movies. No guess on the sound quality of a movie playing from inside a cheese-laced box, but, hey, the idea is certainly fun.

HOPE IT’S BETTER THAN CHAPPIE: Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee will now be available in Keurig pods.Adweek

HERE’S A NICHE: Allstate is expected to roll out auto insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers who are covered by their companies when carrying passengers but need a gap policy between rides. The coverage would cost $20 a year.

AND ANOTHER: Amber Galloway Gallego is an American Sign Language interpreter who has interpreted over 300 rap, R&B, and rock concerts, and has worked with everyone from Aerosmith to Destiny’s Child. Rap is a specialty.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Most are archived here.

OK, IT WAS A CHEVELLE: Men are more apt to be able to tell you the make of their first car than when they last had a doctor’s checkup, according to a survey.

M&Ms: In the mass transit business, there’s only so many ways to say “M.” But you’d be surprised at how many ways that is. The Atlantic

AND FINALLY: Researchers at SUNY Oneonta have discovered that parakeets also suffer from contagious yawning, a condition previously thought only to afflict humans, domestic dogs, chimpanzees and a rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat. A mouth-agape report from Animal Cognition.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.