No. 150: Haddad rising, Zemsky oneliners and a liquor service pleads the fifth

Eco-dev czar Howard Zemsky: I'll take the medieval torture, please.

Bon week-end: A happy Friday everybody. The Dog Days have apparently lost their bite.

The first cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty pedestal was laid on this date in 1884. The stones, cut from quarries in Branford, Conn. and hand-pointed with hammer and chisel, came across the Sound by schooner, squeezed through Hell’s Gate, then moved down the East River and across New York Harbor by barge.

Didn’t know this: The pedestal is mostly concrete but faced with granite.

Speaking of big stones: Happy birthday to Oheka Castle’s Gary Melius.

Worldwide wonk: Paul Haddad, Cablevision’s chief of data analytics for the past four years, has been named Global Chief Data Officer at new parent firm Altice. (Helps that he speaks four languages.)

Fresh talk: You don’t, entrepreneur Mike Winik notes, see a lot of people dropping out of Harvard Business School to become farmers. Winik’s OurHarvest farm-to-table service, launched with cofounder Scott Reich, might just change that.

Safe bet: Gov. Cuomo signed legislation that now allows fantasy sports operations in New York State.

Old-Timers’ Game: LISTnet is honoring some familiar names at its 20thannual LISA awards gala, which has been recast with a baseball theme to match the group’s newish Digital Ballpark headquarters. Oct. 20, 6 p.m., Garden City Hotel. The pitch here.

One fresh face: EGC Group’s Nicole Larrauri.

Get in the swing: WPPB, Long Island’s only NPR station, is holding a golf fundraiser, Sept. 26, Maidstone Club in East Hampton, 11 a.m. check in, more info here.

Or you may: Peruse the rest of the Innovate calendar.


Male drop: Women and minorities are leading a surge in entrepreneurial activity in the United States, according to a closely followed Kauffman Foundation report.

Related: New York ranked 11th in the report’s state index. Montana retained its No. 1 position.

Keeping it light: Empire State Development honcho Howard Zemsky endured sharp questioning from an Assembly committee this week over the effectiveness of Start-Up NY, the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program and the Buffalo Billion plan, which is being probed by the feds.

Zemsky’s best: “If it would help exorcise all of the emotion around the Start-Up NY program, I would be willing to subject myself to any types of medieval torture.”

But: Be careful what you wish for, Howard.

Fund times: The Guv announced that $16 million is available for community-run clean energy projects.

Almost shovel ready: The Town of Hempstead approved most of Sloan Kettering’s plan to build a cancer center at the Nassau Hub site.

Pain avoidance: New York hospitals dodged a big bullet from Washington this week, as the Obama administration announced it would delay changes in how Medicare funding for indigent care is allocated, a move that will save the state $500 million a year.

Ouch: The cut for Long Island hospitals would have been 28 percent.

Share me: Love all the fast news and inside poop, the matchless raillery and repartee, the sidelong glances and droll wit? Forward this newsletter to a friend or encourage them to sign up here.

Earnings: Yawn. Just another awesome quarter for medical supplier Henry Schein.

Plus: Strong revenues, but slightly depressed earnings, as Long Beach fintech Planet Payment continues to spread its breakthrough currency platform around the globe.

Also: Veeco Instruments’ restructuring plan takes a heavy toll on Q2 numbers.

A few words from 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.


Case study: Standing out in an industry dominated by companies named Thirstie, Minibar, Swill and Saucey is not easy, especially when Amazon has also come knocking. But alcohol-to-your-door platform Drizly thinks it has a winning formula, including the support of some of the largest liquor chains and distributors in the country and, now, a $15 million B round.

The market: $100 billion a year, with only 2 percent currently purchased digitally, and most of that is vineyard-to-consumer wine sales.

We needed this: The intercom, updated for the 21st Century.

It was only a matter of time: The just-out Safecaster app records your confrontations with law enforcement and sends them to a preset, off-the-scene contact. Can be used in “ghost mode” to make it look like your phone is turned off.

Big bets: Would you pay $583 million in cash for a 10 percent stake in a company that loses $500 million a year? Time Warner just did. (Joining Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast.)

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

Missed the boat on sponsoring? Climb aboard. We need your support to keep this baby going.


Schmear campaign: Stony Brook math prof George Hart showed the Today Show food staff his four-cut formula for slicing a bagel. (No converts, wethinks.)

Taking a shot: After promising to stay away from historic Apollo landing sites, a Florida company has been granted FAA approval to land a craft on the moon. It would win a $20 million prize for doing so before the end of 2017.

To go lunar yourself: Contact the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Olympiad XLIX and beyond: Forget the coming disaster that is the Rio Games. Instead, take a look at how future competitions will take on climate, nationalism, doping, augmentation and the ever-more-fluid gender barrier. As imagined by seven prominent sci-fi writers.

Before then: Good luck to Long Island Olympians Crystal Dunn and Maria Michta-Coffey.

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great firms like Nixon Peabody.

Did we mention liking us on Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter?

And how about that sponsorship thing? Your firm could be winning envious glances and new customers right now. We PayPal, BTW.

Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.