No. 197: Pink boots, boot camp and a boost for bioelectronics

SBU still loves Joe Biden.

TGIF: A happy Friday, everybody, especially those who managed to take a snow day. Lest you forget: The worst late-snow year on record was 1996, which saw 16 inches fall in April.

Welcome new sponsor EisnerAmper. Thanks for your support!

Happy birthday Ed Mirabella. We miss you Bob Greene.

Don’t forget: The Innovator of the Year awards are March 21, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and covering everything from wave energy to custom-fit lingerie. (And not necessarily in that order.)

But first, this: The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency was ranked one of the three best business retention programs in the country this month.

In other news, the Suffolk Legislature voted 16 to 1 to demand a cost-benefit analysis of the agency to see if its tax incentive programs actually provide a benefit to taxpayers.

So goes the love-hate relationship with IDAs, which offer tax reductions and other benefits in exchange for promises that companies stay put and continue to grow their payrolls. While the benefits certainly have their detractors – land use activist Cliff Sondock calls them “a fascist policy” that “perverts and corrupts both the real estate market and all existing taxpayers” – many economic development experts view them as a vital part of the retention tool kit.

Don’t offer the incentives and you lose companies to municipalities that do. Basta.

Not clear why now on the legislation, which was introduced by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and directs the county’s economic development department to review the past five years of IDA deals and gauge their value in terms of job creation.

“Because the taxpayers are the ones who shoulder the cost of tax breaks granted to businesses, there must be some clear, offsetting value to the county in terms of growth, whether it is economic growth or jobs,” Gregory said in a statement.

From Suffolk IDA Director Anthony Catapano: “Suffolk County IDA is proud of the work we’ve done on behalf of our residents to create jobs and grow the economy. We welcome any opportunity to highlight these accomplishments and are happy to comply with the Legislature’s request.”

Jobs report: Long Island added almost 25,000 private sector jobs last year, a 2.3% gain, mostly in education and healthcare. Government added another 3,000+ positions, bringing the region’s employment total to 1.1 million and change.

Statewide, employment grew by 132,200, or 1.4%, just behind national totals. Job gains were in health, education, business services, transportation and hospitality. The big losers were in manufacturing and finance. Only Rochester (-0.2%) and Dutchess-Putnam (-1.7%) lost jobs in 2016.


United we commercialize: Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute has inked a development deal with United Therapeutics via which the Maryland-based biotech will fund four tracks of research and help move the institute’s nerve-stimulation therapies through clinical trials and into development.

No financial details made public, but UT has deep pockets and a solid record of getting therapies to market, beginning with a drug that combats pulmonary arterial hypertension, an orphan disease that threatened the life of company founder Martine Rothblatt’s daughter. (Rothblatt previously created GeoStar and Sirius satellite radio.)

Not especially related: The annual Ross Prize, awarded by Feinstein’s peer-reviewed journal Molecular Medicine and funded ($50K) by board members Robin and Jack Ross, has gone to a Rockefeller researcher. (Robin’s father, Leonard Marsh, was one of the founders of Snapple.)

Pink boots: Wednesday was International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. Our coverage here.

Managing the continuum: eVero founders Christos and Constantine Morris want to streamline long-term health care management using patient- and provider-friendly apps and software suites.

Back to school: Stony Brook University has set the teams for its annual Innovation Boot Camp, a three-day commercialization cram for startups. Steve Winick, Paul Schwartz and Samir Nizam are among the reviewers.

Earnings: CPI Aerostructures takes a charge and Chembio gets a chill, but Planet Payment posts some crazy-good numbers.

Flight of fancy: Farmingdale State College aviation expert Michael Canders opines on drones and other hazards, LIMBA, March 17, 8 a.m., Clarion Hotel near MacArthur. Registration here.

We have the meets: The Innovate calendar is here.

A few words from our sponsor: EisnerAmper is a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm.  We serve over 500 technology and life science clients.  Our dedicated team of more than 125 professionals support start-up companies, emerging growth, IPO-track and publicly traded clients.  For more information, visit us here.

News digs: Uniondale software firm EC Infosystems, from whence launched Innovator of the Year winner Jasmine Universe, cuts the ribbon on its collaborative-spaced new headquarters on Ovington Boulevard next week.

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Hot ticket: SBU will honor former veep Joe Biden at its annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala, April 19, 6:30 p.m., Chelsea Piers. Call 212-245-6570 for ticket info.

Ka-ching: King Kullen customers donated $35,000 during the grocery chain’s annual “Check Out Hunger” campaign, which benefits the fine work of the Long Island Cares/Harry Chapin Food Bank.


Didn’t connect: Aquion, a saltwater battery company funded by Bill Gates and other notables, has declared bankruptcy after running through $190 million in seed.

With a woman: A quarter of Y Combinator companies now boast at least one female founder, versus just 5% in earlier classes.

Prone to succeed: Only one photo accompanying Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America list shows a guy reclining on a couch. (If you guessed Mobile Developer, ding-ding-ding.)

NYT guide: How to protect yourself from the CIA and other snoops, including the listening device in your Samsung TV.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.