No. 194: Recent fundings, a Northwell gig and killer space BBs

It’s Tuesday out there: A happy end to February everybody, and welcome new readers Thomas, the two Roberts, Michele, Kenneth, Katie, Anthony, Glenn and Bruce.

Top of the site: Stony Brook’s Applied DNA Sciences is offering its molecular marking skills to help track cotton produced using forced labor. Like the stuff coming out of Uzbekistan. And Turkmenistan. And India, China, Egypt … you get the idea.

And: Northwell Health has forged an alliance with NYC’s Force Therapeutics with the goal of building a customized video-based platform that can help promote better post-operative care. Financial details not revealed.

ICYMI: It’s annual buy-a-share of a farm time.

Tonight’s hot CLE event: Cybersecurity as it affects technology, the financial industry, data and, well, pretty much everything else. Includes Una Dean, Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of NY, Joanna Levin of Pfizer, Erez Liebermann of Prudential, Mark Schildkraut of Becton Dickinson and Andrew Tannenbaum, IBM’s cybersecurity counsel. Skadden Arps hosts. Register here.

And next week: St. John’s is hosting a summit on training the next generation of cybersecurity experts, including speakers from industry, law enforcement and academia, March 6, registration at 8:30 a.m., Manhattan campus, free but please register. More info here.

Don’t miss this: The Innovator of the Year awards are March 21, 8 to 10 a.m., Crest Hollow, a very cool crowd, including our inaugural Master of Innovation, Bob Catell. You should come.

We have the meets: The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.

About our sponsor: AVZ is a premier, full-service accounting firm with offices in Hauppauge and NYC and a philosophy that the client always comes first. From accounting and auditing to taxation and wealth management, the firm pledges to be an integral part of your team, to offer a close committed relationship, financial imagination and unparalleled excellence to assist you in attaining your goals. To learn more.

Congrats: Molloy College won three honors, including a gold medal, in the annual running of the education advertising awards, for its multimedia campaign, “Where. Here.” The campaign, produced by Austin Williams, promotes the school’s standing as Money magazine’s No. 1 Value All Star college.

RECENT FUNDINGS

Sunlight Financial, a Teaneck firm that makes loans for residential solar systems, received $130 million from Route 66 Ventures.

NYC-based Hiatus, which tracks subscriptions and their costs and automates canceling, closed a $1.2 million seed round from undisclosed investors.

Boston’s Getaway, which constructs and rents “tiny house” getaways in areas adjacent to major cities, brought in $15 million from L Catterton.

TripleMinta NYC-based residential real estate buyer-seller matching platform, landed $4.5 million from a group led by DN Capital, with participation from Summit Action Fund.

Bowery Farming, the NYC-based indoor, sustainable grow operation for organic leafy greens, raised $7.5 million from First Round Capital, Box Group, Lerer Hippeau and chef Tom Colicchio.

Today’s Two-Minute Science Primer™: You may have heard that lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes can be a little testy, as Boeing and Samsung have both recently discovered.

Not only are they prone to explosions and fires, but liquid-core batteries are at the end of their miniaturization curve, meaning they can’t be built small enough for nanoelectronics, which envisions tiny chips powered by even tinier batteries. Shrinkage, in other words, is a problem here.

Solid electrolytes would work, but they’re significantly slower and less efficient than the liquid version. So the search has been on for something in the sweet spot, where size and speed meet stable. (Or was that a “Sex in the City” episode?)

Chemists at the University of Illinois may have stumbled upon an answer in copper selenide, which is a great conductor, but usually only at very high temperatures. It’s one of several materials, first described by Faraday in the 1830s, that offer improved conductivity as they get hotter.

The UI team discovered that nanoclusters of copper selenide – each about 100 atoms – have the stability of a solid but allow ions to move through with the ease of a liquid. And at room temperature.

Still to do: Build a working nanocluster battery and, if it doesn’t blow up, call Samsung.

This is, BTW, the opposite of what they’re doing out at Brookhaven National Lab, which is to try to improve the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries so that they might be used to power cars, homes and businesses.

WHAT WE’RE READING

A growing percentage of companies see services – subscription-based, professional, usage-based contracts, even app-delivered – as the way to drive revenue growth.

Workers may not have received a fair share of the recent growth in American business profits, but robots also didn’t do very well, writes University of Chicago economist Simcha Barkai.

Space is called the final frontier, but it’s also a pretty dangerous accumulation of junk, all of it moving at 18,000 mph. (At that speed, a BB would have the destructive force of a safe going 60.)

Due to the surge in U.S. craft brewing, the wait for permits from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has jumped to an average 166 days, double that of 2015.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support awesome firms like AVZ, the folks behind the annual LI economic survey and opinion poll.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.