No. 129: Big bonds, gym drinks and how autonomous cars can save suburbia

And we’re off: A great start to the week everybody and welcome new readers Allon, Lisa, Chad, Richard, Pete, Mark, Patrick and Dom. Hughes engineer Ted Maiman fired up the first laser on this day in 1960. His paper on the device was turned down by the journal Physical Review Letters.

Happy Birthday, Katherine Heaviside and Pierce Brosnan.

Title III of the JOBS Act takes effect today, allowing just about anyone to back a startup.

He’s thirsty: Hofstra student-entrepreneur Allon Avgi, fresh off first-place, $15,000 honors in the university’s annual pitch contest, is readying the launch of a high-end sports drink concocted especially for gym rats and metal heads. After that, of course, the world.

Of Airport Bondage: The Port Authority heads to the munies market tomorrow to price $2.5 billion for its share of the LaGuardia Airport revamp. The $4 billion public-private partnership – that’s P3 in development parlance – includes replacing the 1964-era Terminal B and building a new central hall and connecting concourse, all while the airport continues to serve the almost 30 million passengers who move through annually.

Background: LaGuardia will be just the second U.S. airport with a P3 if you count the 2013 deal at Luis Muñoz Marín International in San Juan. The first ever, at Newburgh International in Orange County, has since reverted to public operation.

Speaking of the PA: Executive director Pat Foye, who planned to leave at the end of March, has agreed to remain while the Port board seeks a CEO, a new position that will consolidate leadership at the busy, bifurcated bi-state agency, which is also building a new rail tunnel from Jersey to Penn Station and replacing its way-over-capacity bus terminal on 42nd Street. Oh, and constructing a new Goethals Bridge.

“We are grateful Pat has agreed to stay on to help the Port Authority at this critical time,” said Beth DeFalco, a spokeswoman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The agency has considered more than a dozen candidates for the CEO job, many of whom balked at the position’s proposed $450,000 salary. (Foye does it for $290,000. Just sayin’.)

About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for more than 45 years by bringing together government economic development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.

Don’t forget: Incubator Showcase featuring SBU’s 40+ startups, Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, June 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., info here.

Not to be missed: LaunchPad Huntington teams with the Workforce Development Institute for a causerie on manufacturing, including release of a study on maker-related technology employment and a spirited Kominicki-led panel. May 24, 1 p.m. onward, free, sponsors and exhibitors welcome, post-panel beverages and music.

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 rest of the Innovate calendar is here


Attention Verizon: Quicken Loans founder (and Cleveland Cavaliers owner) Dan Gilbert is said to be exploring a takeover bid for Yahoo, the deal to be financed by Warren Buffett.

Know your rights: Congress has asked Facebook to answer questions about its trending topics curation following allegations that staffers squelch conservative news. The request was signed by Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota.

Game competitor: Beam Interactive, an up-and-comer in the e-sports space, won the $50,000 grand prize in last week’s Disrupt NY Startup Battlefield in Brooklyn, besting 21 other entries. Water filtration system WaterO was second.

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Take Netflix on vacation: The European states have tentatively agreed to a law that would require streaming services to provide customers with roaming access of just-like-at-home content, anywhere in the EU, by next year.

Coulda used one during Sandy: The BioLite BaseLantern provides 54 hours of bright light and juice for your portables, then folds up smaller than a turkey sandwich. Kickstarter campaign is at $325,000 on a $75,000 goal, until June 10.

Knuckle/headed idea: Samsung has filed a patent for a smartwatch that projects the screen onto the back of your hand. A head-mounted version uses a wall.

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


The quote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Post-urbanism: Alan Berger, a professor of urban design at MIT, believes autonomous cars will lead to a population surge in the suburbs. And longer, but happier, commutes.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.