No. 127: Lesko speaks, a maker summit and an Aussie beer you may want to pass on

Billy Joel is 67.

It’s Monday: A great start to the week everybody and welcome new readers, including Ben, Ross, Stephen, Bill, John, Pam, Michelle, Glenn, Rosanna, Michael, James, Chris and Lucy. It’s May 9, on which the Germans surrendered, Mad Magazine was launched and the Beatles released “Let It Be.” The Piano Man is 67.

The Debrief: Innovate’s Gregory Zeller checks in with Hofstra dean Mark Lesko as he co-helms the Accelerate NY Seed Fund, a $6 million+ effort to move local biotech and clean-gen startups past the seed stage.

Congrats, Maria and Martin: Envisagenics, the CSHL spinoff and 2015Innovator of the Year winner, has been named to Stanford’s Latino entrepreneurs program.

Ballpark sell out: LISTnet’s Digital Ballpark co-working space expects to be fully leased – the staff is negotiating for the last office as you read this – in time for its May 25 opening, at which Nassau Exec Ed Mangano will throw out the first pitch.

Launching at the Pad: LP Huntington is teaming with the Workforce Development Institute for a spirited confab on manufacturing, including release of a study on maker-related technology employment. May 24, 1 p.m. onward, free, sponsors and exhibitors welcome, beverages and music to follow.

Stuff we’re sponsoring: The Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire, June 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson, innovation, invention and fun for all ages.

The complete Innovate calendar is here

Something lost in translation, maybe: Siemens has announced it will expand its healthcare business under the new brand name Siemens Healthineers.

About our sponsor: Nixon Peabody works with clients who are building the technologies and industries of the future. We’ve got the expertise necessary to drive your business forward and help you negotiate risks and opportunities related to all areas of business and the law, including business formation, capital raising, IP, labor and immigration, and FDA.

Finally, a profit for somebody: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos netted more than $670 million last week by selling 1 million shares. (No worries – he still has 82 million left, or 17 percent of the company, valued at $54 billion.)

It goes around: MIT is raising $5 billion to make the world a better place. It’s about halfway there. (With the money, we mean.)

Also: Lenovo has launched a $500 million seed fund and incubator.

Driverless vehicle update: GM and Lyft will launch autonomous ride sharingin an undisclosed U.S. city within the year; Google and Fiat Chrysler will partner on self-driving minivans.

Still taxis, though: Uber and Lyft said they would shut down Austin operations after aSaturday referendum in which voters upheld a law requiring drivers to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks.

And: Via, the West Coast carpooling startup, announced it has closed on a $70 million round and expects to pocket an additional $30 million in the next few weeks.

Shell game: Former members of The Turtles have filed suit in New York against Sirius XM Radio over royalty payments for the band’s pre-1972 songs, including its only No. 1 hit, “Happy Together.” (It bumped “Penny Lane” out of the top spot in 1967.)

Could help: Outerwear retailer K-Way is displaying mannequins of missing people in its NYC store windows as part of the Invisible Faces project.

Yuuge news: Facebook will sponsor both political conventions this summer to “facilitate an open dialogue among voters, candidates and elected officials.”

Missed a newsletter? A full year’s worth is archived here.


At last, a source for glove-boned quail: The New York Times is partnering with Chef’d to sell the ingredients needed to make dishes offered up by food editor Sam Sifton and the rest of the NYT Cooking team.

For indecisive drinkers: New app Bar Roulette summons an Uber car to take you to an undisclosed watering hole selected from top spots on Yelp and Foursquare.

Beer belly: An Australian craft brewer plans to offer a Belgian-style Witbier made from yeast strains cultivated from its founders’ navels.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.